Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Five reasons why 'Bama won't repeat as BCS Champions
Now that all the preseason polls have been released, it's official, the Alabama Crimson Tide will begin the defense of their BCS National title at No.1.
Later I will explain why I think these "polls" are the first step - the GPS, if you will - that leads the BCS down the wrong road to determining a national champ, or at least one that makes everyone happy anyway.
But the release of these polls also marks a great time to let you know that Alabama will not repeat as BCS Champions this year.
Now, before my Crimson Tide friends get too upset, ask yourself this: Have you listened to any of 'Bama Coach Nick Saban's preseason comments about repeating?
Even Saban doesn't want to hear any talk about repeating or starting at No.1, but rather would like the entire Crimson Tide Nation to realize last year is history and has little or nothing to do with this season.
And I agree, so here are five reasons why Alabama will not repeat this season:
5. Never been done. Since the BCS was created in 1998, no team has been able to create an encore performance - not USC, not Florida, not Texas, not LSU...well, you get the point. There's a reason why it's never been done. Every team 'Bama faces this year will see a huge bulls eye on their chest and get up for that game as if it's their personal opportunity to make a name for themselves by beating "The Champs."
4. Pressure Cooker. The hype alone is enough to stress an entire fan base out, much less the team and coaching staff. Look what it did to Florida and Urban Meyer last season. By the time the Gators faced the Tide in the SEC Title game, they were wound tighter than Lindsey Lohan.
3. Not-So Special Teams. 'Bama will be breaking in a freshman kicker and punter, and with the graduation of Javier Arenas, they said goodbye to automatic great field position and home run-hitting ability on punt and kick returns. Not saying someone can't replace these guys at some point, but there's a reason why the Tide won it all last year, and a lot of it had to with a veteran special teams unit that is now gone.
2. Because "Defense Wins Championships." We've all heard it, but there's a reason why it's a cliche'. And it's one of the top reasons why Alabama won't repeat. I hate to keep using them as an example, but heading into 2010, this team - defensively - reminds me of Florida in 2007. That team had a stellar returning offense and was coming off a national title with Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Co., but like this year's Tide, had to replace 9 starters on defense. The last time we saw that team it was getting OUTSCORED by a mediocre Michigan team in the Citrus Bowl. 'Bama not only has to replace 9 starters, they lost 12 out of their top 15 tacklers and a total of 13 defensive players with at least three years of experience.
1. Bye-Bye Baby. We've already talked about the fact that every team - not just conference foes - will be getting up a little extra when they face the Tide this year, but how about the schedule Alabama faces this year? Forget that they play Penn State early on, forget that they may end up playing Florida or South Carolina TWICE (if they make it to Atlanta). But 'Bama will play its final six SEC games against teams coming off a bye. That means South Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State and Iron Bowl arch-rival Auburn will each have an extra week to prepare for the Crimson Tide.