God, the season went by so fast didn't it? Seems like last Thursday night when I was at work, talking with my friends about how we thought the season would go. Of course we...the Bama fans, I mean....predicted 14-0. As we do every year. But this was the first year I had entered the season fully believing and expecting that we could pull it off
In 2009, I started the season expecting us to get back to Atlanta, and have another shot at Florida. We HAD to have that much success at least. And I really thought we could get them back for the heartbreaking defeat the year before. A few of Timmy's tears later, we were in Pasadena.
Great season that was
Entering the 2011 season, I felt like we had as much talent as anyone in the country and that we were good enough to beat every team we played on our schedule. And that proved to be true. We WERE good enough to beat every team on our schedule. Even LSU, who upon first meeting up with us had been running through their schedule as uncontested as we had
Now I will try not to spend too much time harping on the first game, but since I haven't written here in awhile, I guess I shall vent a bit. Clearly, we should have won that game. Clearly, we were the better team. We only punted 2 times. They had to punt 6 times. We ran up 295 yards of total offense. They only had 235 yards of offense. Our defense shut down most everything they did, and the should-have-been-Heisman-Winner Trent Richardson had as good a game against the Bengal Tigers as anyone else did all year, running for almost 100 yards and having a couple of really fine receptions, on the way to 160 something total yards
But then came the field goals. Or the failure thereof on our part.
I have said many times since then, like most Bama fans, that we should have very easily won that game. And I know that we are right in this thought. We had 5 or 6 opportunities more to score than LSU had. We kicked SIX field goals. Which means we got into their redzone, or damn close to it, SIX TIMES!!! LSU barely sniffed such scoring opportunities against our defense. They only had the opportunity to kick 3 field goals. Of course they made every damn one of them and we only made 2 of the 6 we kicked.
And that was the difference in the game. The only difference
And I've had about all I can STAND from Auburn fans, LSU fans, media members, and other assorted haters everywhere who continue with this assumption that LSU is just such an indestructible juggernaut who is just so much better than us. Clearly there is no way we can beat them, y'all. Obviously not. They'll probably beat us by 30. You know, like they did the first time around
People seem to put aside the facts of the first game, and just look at the fact that LSU won, and assume it will just happen again.
Well I have a few more facts for you
In the BCS era there have been 9 bowl games that involved teams who had already played each other in the regular season. In those 9 rematches, the team who won the first game went 3-6. Because it's extremely hard to beat a good team twice. A rematch always favors the loser of the first game. As pissed off and ridiculous as I was acting on Nov 5, once I collected my thoughts, one of the first things that I told my wife and friends was that...if we do get to play them again...that it might actually have been a good thing that we lost the first game.
Now it's never a good thing to lose, and I never feel that way at the time. It's always unacceptable and unforgivable. But if we win this rematch, how much will that first game have really meant? LSU can go home and celebrate the fact that they were the SEC Champions still, but it will be empty at the end of the day. We would have still risen up in the end and taken the real prize from them
And this is what I expect to happen.
I expect Alabama to win the rematch. And I expect them to win it in a really authoritative fashion
I'm gonna go with 24-13 Bama, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's a bigger margin than that. Yes, I am being completely serious. Go back to that first game. On the first drive of the game, we went right down the field without a problem. Then we shit our pants, made a few mistakes, and missed a field goal. And then that was the story of the game.
I can what-if all day, but seriously. Say we had made that first field goal. And then say Marquis Maze's pass to Michael Williams in the 4th quarter had been correctly called a reception. We would've gone in to score a TD there. You could very easily see how we had the opportunity to score 17-24 points in that game. LSU ended regulation with 6 points, just like us. But that was all they could get. They made good on the only opportunities they had. We pissed away almost every opportunity we had to put that game away. We really could've kicked their ass
That game could've easily been a 17-6 victory by Bama or even better.
Now assume that we correct mistakes, and find ways to actually score when we get the chance. And factor in revenge, and all the motivation that goes along with that. I could easily see a Bama beatdown
And I hope I'm right
Roll Tide, friends
"It's not about revenge, it's about restoring order" - Barrett Jones
- Eric Blackerby
- My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic