Hard to say to say what is more impressive:
• The last four college football National Champions (3 Bama, 1 Auburn) all have been from that state just the other side of Meridian.
• The last seven National Champions are all from the SEC.
• Five of the top 10 teams in the final Associated Press are from the SEC.
• In the last eight years he has coached college football, Nick Saban has won four National Championships.
• Alabama, in trouncing previously undefeated and top-ranked Notre Dame 42-14, treated the Fighting Irish about like they did the then-7-0 Mississippi State Bulldogs when they played in late October in Tuscaloosa.
• Barrett Jones, the Alabama All-World center, played splendidly against Notre Dame’s gargantuan nose tackle rendering him pretty much a non-factor. Afterward Jones told newsmen, “Oh yeah, I’m having surgery tomorrow.” Jones played the entire championship game with torn ligaments in his right foot.
• And how about Eddie Lacy’s slide step he used to make Irish would-be tacklers look like golden-domed fools? I swear, I’ve watched the guy play for three years and I’ve never seen him that quick, that fast. He made himself a couple million extra Monday night.
• A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend. Don’t believe me, ask Brent Musberger.
• Alabama’s readiness in every phase of the game. They out-planned, out-played, out-muscled, out-quicked, out-ran and out-everythinged the Irish. One moment, they looked like agile bulldozers at the line of scrimmage. The next moment they played with the grace of ballet dancers, leaping to catch and intercept passes and then somehow coming down in-bounds.
If 42-14 games can be entertaining, this one was, if only because of Alabama’s excellence. You have to admire perfect, and Alabama was just that until the game got out of hand.
I remember watching Ole Miss run rings around Pittsburgh last Saturday in Birmingham — the speed difference was stunning — and recalling that Notre Dame needed a last-minute miracle to defeat Pitt at South Bend. That was hint No. 1 that the Irish were in deep do-do. Hint 2, as we are reminded so many times at this time of the year, was that Saban had had an extra month to prepare. It’s like giving the world’s greatest scientist the keys to the world’s most comprehensive laboratory and telling him you’ve got all the time you need.
A couple final thoughts:
1) How good does this make Johnny Manziel? I mean, that kid did to Alabama’s killer defense pretty much what Alabama’s offense did to Notre Dame. And he did it to Bama at Tuscaloosa.
2) Alabama plays at Texas A &M on Sept. 14 next season. Don’t know about you, I can’t wait. Bama has an open date before that one. I’m guessing Saban will have the Tide ready. And I’m guessing Johnny Football won’t back down.