It comes down to this…. win, and you get some momentum going into recruiting and the 2008 season. Lose, and it’ll be the first time Alabama has had back-to-back losing seasons since Ears Whitworth was in Tuscaloosa in the early 1950’s. Colorado is the opponent, a scrappy team from the Big 12. Can Alabama overcome a late season meltdown? Or, will the Tide fall to another opponent in a game we’re favored to win? One thing is for sure, it will be tough no matter the outcome.
The Reason for my gut to say Alabama wins
- We finally have the nucleus of our Offensive Line together long enough to actually prepare for a game. Yes, we had them for Auburn, but they had not done any real football play for about 4 weeks.
- We’ve had a few weeks to clear our heads of whatever has been affecting us in such a negative way. Football is a physical game, but it is a mental game as well.
- D.J. Hall will get Colorado’s beat man on defense, but the rest of that CU defense is a bit questionable at times.
- Cody Hawkins is a talented QB, but he is still rather young.
- Our Special Teams seem to be back in order. Javier Arenas is back (well, 80% back), and Leigh Tiffin has rebounded nicely after the Arkansas game in 2006.
- It’s a chance to avoid 6-7 again. Hopefully, our guys will be all business since this is a repeat trip to Shreveport.
Reasons for my gut to say Alabama loses
- John Parker Wilson has a QB rating of 111.9, which is 11th out of the 12 full-time starters in the SEC. He also had 1 TD and 5 INTs during our 4 game losing streak.
- Our running game just cannot seem to get over the hump at times. We really need Grant, Coffee, and Upchurch to burn up some major yardage.
- Our thin defense may have to suffer through yet another long game if our offense is to do what they usually do, which is stink.
- Colorado is probably in a better mood than we are since they scored 65 points in their last game. (sure, it was Nebraska, but that is still impressive).
- Colorado did beat Oklahoma for a reason. They caused turnovers (and let OU hurt themselves) in order to win. We’re extremely good at hurting ourselves.
- The fanbase just isn’t into this match-up. We hardly heard anything all week long about this game in the press, on the message boards, and even on this blog. Something doesn’t feel right…
It’s going to be a tense time for me in watching this game. I don’t know if I can handle yet another let down after so much promising play in the early part of the year. I think we can definitely beat a team like Colorado if we play like we actually want to win. The only question is can we actually achieve that? The players said they’ve had some of the best practices all year long. Well, I hope this is true, because if we come out and loaf around again, I will be one unhappy person.
If we do end up with a loss, I know most people will either try and excuse this season away, or become way too angry. I know this season has been disappointing since we thrashed Tennessee, there is no other way to describe it. But, we can’t automatically start screaming in blind rage, much like a Jim from Tuscaloosa on the Finebaum show. The staff and this team really did underachieve, but we can’t give up on people just yet.
Some of you might end up angry because there will be critics who will say things like “Alabama paid $4 million for another 6-6 season! Just like Shula!” That really doesn’t bug me too much anyways since every single one of these people would never take Shula over Saban as their coach. They’re unfamiliar with the situation, and seem to take a perverse pleasure in finding problems with how Alabama handles itself.
So in the end, this season is a big downer, and there are no excuses. But, we’re still going to prove how much better off we really are in years to come. Say what you will, but I will not let go of my optimism for the future.
Game is at 7:00 pm cst on ESPN. Enjoy and Roll Tide!