Alabama vs. Auburn is very often a classic college football game. Today was no exception. Alabama was a heavy favorite, had a perfect season and had to play Auburn on the road. Auburn had two weeks to prepare and prepare they did. They came out firing and running fast, surprising and gutsy plays. Every Auburn fan should be proud of the effort the Tigers put out this afternoon. They out played Alabama until the final 8:30 of the fourth quarter, when the Tide showed the character and determination that has made them a contender for the second year in a row to win 26-21. What can I say about two straight 12-0 regular seasons? It has never been done in Alabama's storied history. I am proud of this team. They could have lost at least three games this year but refused to lose. And to think that many people thought Nick Saban would not do this well until year four and year three is not over yet. The guy is a winner.
The Crimson Tide drove the field, consuming time and making four huge third down conversions, to win with 1:34 to go. And the play call at the end, of a pass to Roy Upchurch, was a Nick Saban classic. He decided against the call of his offensive coordinator for what appeared to be a certain running play and threw a safe and effective pass to go up by five points. A field goal might have won this game but it would have left Auburn with a serious chance to still win by a field goal at the end. Instead, Saban made the right call (with the guts of a winning coach) and proved again why he is truly a great coach. He can recruit, manage a great staff, handle the pressure and seems to always call a great game. (Consider Les Miles poor management of the LSU vs. Old Miss game last week and you can see why real LSU fans still wish they had Nick Saban.) This guy is one of the five greatest coaches in the game.
Now it is on to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta next Saturday against Florida. Like last year the Gators are the favorite but Alabama will come to play. Both teams have not yet played a truly "great" game so who knows what will happen? I would not bet against Tim Tebow but the Tide will play hard and play to the end. I can't wait but then I need the next eight days to recover from the game today and get ready for more of this kind of excitement. I expect this team is spent tonight but they will be ready when the time comes. Roll Tide. "Every Bama man's behind you, hit your stride!"