I don’t know about you, but I’m in full recovery mode. Like, I feel like I played the game. The only other time I remember feeling like this is after the ’07 Florida game. I’m whipped.
And then there’s the program. We must now recover. And we are. I never felt like we were collapsed. I didn’t really feel like we got outcoached. I could nit-pick play-calling. Listen, this game has gotten simpler and simpler to me. If you can’t block ‘em, you can’t win. We were searching for answers. The reason we recruited Fields so hard is a mobile QB is the answer to the unanswerable question: How do you beat a team you can’t block? You have a QB they can’t tackle. We’re all on team Fromm for 3 more years, as well we should be, but Kirby is covering all the angles to try and build a program.
We worked some year 2 magic, but it’s much more like Saban’s year 2. They became a monster, but they couldn’t beat the other monster, Florida & Meyer & Tebow. It took them till year 3. They got better in year 3. So will we. And we’ll be way better in year 4.
We’re not going anywhere. The bummer of it all is that it’s hard to win that semi, and it’s hard to win the SEC. We have to win 2 slobber-knockers to get there, and then we had to play a team that didn’t win OUR league. I’m bitter about that, but I know they were the best team and deserved to be there. It’s just frustrating. I’d like to see us get in at 11-1 one day, then I’ll be quiet. What I don’t like about it is that it’s a beauty pageant. I don’t know if Bama was better than OSU. I know OU, UGA and Bama all looked pretty evenly matched and OU beat OSU, but that means nothing. What I know is that winning the SEC means so much because you win it on the field. You earn your way in.
The bottom line is they had a whole lot more better players, and that made a difference as the game went on:
· JK Scott is a weapon of immeasurable proportions. His ability to land that ball high and at the goal line in the corner, where you can’t down it, is incredible. Plus, they have so many athletes that can cover kicks they keep you pinned deep.
· The move to Tua was the riskiest move I’ve ever seen in a title game. That’s why you recruit. And it might have been a panic move, but it was calculated. Saban knew Kirby was going to lock down the run game and Hurts wasn’t going to get by #3 much.
· Ben Cleveland has some work to do, but he’s been a huge part of our success. We saw what a dominant D-line looks like.
· We have Roquan. They have 3 of him.
· The difference was simply this: We have 1 player who MIGHT start in their secondary (18) and another (20) who might sniff playing time. Dom and Parrish would be on the Kickoff team and Aaron Davis wouldn’t be on the team in Tuscaloosa. Their secondary is something to watch. No one is open, like, ever. They bat the ball away so incredibly. They play tight. They’re huge.
Saban has better players. That’s what this thing is all about, man. Yes, you can make a great or stupid decision that wins or loses a game. Yes, if you can recruit but can’t gameplan, you’ll be fired (see: Jones, Butch). But, the more players you get, there smarter you start looking.
Bama has been ranked #1 in composite rankings for all of 2013-2017, meaning every player on their team was part of a #1 recruiting class. Our average ranking for that time period is #7. We had some special kids in that bunch, for sure. We also had a bunch that haven’t panned out and we’ve still got a few holes on the team.
For ’18, we are ranked #1 and Bama is ranked #5, so far. For ’19, we’re #1 and they’re #3, so far. That’s a much different story being written, a much more even story, and we’ll get to play them again in that stadium. It hurts. But I just don’t feel like I did in 2012. I thought that was Richt’s shot. I don’t feel like it did in Jax in ’02. I’m just happy to be really good with a really bright future. I’m not depressed. I was depressed after losing to Vandy for the 2nd time. I was depressed after losing to Nebraska in the rain. I was depressed after a hail mary.
Bigger and better things to come.
Beat Austin Peay!