Make No Mistake; Saturday Was No Miracle at Jordan-Hare
Photo by Vasha Hunt/al.com
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
– Bear Bryant
It may be soothing for the Alabama faithful to point to luck as the reason Auburn won the Iron Bowl with a second left on the clock. Bear Bryant’s above quote certainly could have been attributed to the Georgia game two weeks ago.
On Saturday night, there was no luck involved. There was no miracle this time. The greatest finish in college football history was nothing more than one team wanting it more than the other.
And that’s why Alabama sits in shock today.
Arrogance has been replaced by reality. Today the Crimson Tide sits as the second best team in Alabama. The run is over. A.J. McCarron is yesterday’s news. Katherine Webb’s 15 minutes are up. By the way honey, leave that Auburn diploma at the door. We’re finished with you too.
Despite all the Sports Illustrated covers, ESPN profiles and number one recruiting classes, the harsh reality is that the better football team won the game; maybe not on paper, but certainly on the football field.
In the end, Nick Saban and Alabama were beaten by a hungrier and more opportunistic team. Go down the roster player-by-player and Alabama clearly had the size and speed. Singularly, they possess the best talent in America.
As a team, they simply didn’t have in their hearts what the Auburn players had inside.
On Saturday, you felt it from the moment you walked into the stadium. Not since Alabama came calling 24 years ago today, had there been that feeling inside Jordan-Hare Stadium among coaches, players and fans – that feeling that no matter what, Auburn was not going to be denied.
Not on this day. Not this time.
Where does this regular season rank among Auburn’s greatest? That’s a tough debate and one that needs to be saved for another time. Personally, this is the most enjoyable football season of my life.
Who knows whether an SEC title or national championship awaits; for this middle-aged guy, I can’t imagine it getting any more satisfying. How often do you get to rip the heart out of your two biggest rivals in consecutive games? Rod Bramblett will be haunting these suckers for years. What more can you ask for?
As an added bonus, Auburn has probably gotten more national publicity in the last two games than they did during the national title run in 2010. Think about that for a minute. From New York to Los Angeles, Auburn has been the biggest thing in sports over the last 48 hours. They were the lead story in two Big Apple newspapers yesterday, and those people can’t spell college football.
How would you like to be Gus Malzahn today? How do you “flip the switch” as he likes to say after a finish like Saturday? Hell, I can’t even find my switch this morning. How do get your players focused now?
That’s the storyline of this week. Can Auburn shake off the Iron Bowl and be ready to face a team that’s every bit as physical and fast as Alabama. On top of all the Missouri preparation, final exams start next Monday. Talk about stress at work.
So the ride continues another week. I’m not worried about the BCS and bowl projections. I’m having too much fun living in the now. I hope you’ll join me in savoring every minute from now until Saturday night.
Can it get any better?