Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Richardson Emerges as Heisman Front-Runner

Due in large measure to his career-high 203 yards rushing against the Auburn Tigers, Alabama running back Trent Richardson has emerged as the Heisman front-runner according and ESPN’s Heisman Watch.

Final votes which will determine the Heisman winner are due on Monday, and by all accounts a very close race is expected between Richardson and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. The coveted award will be presented Dec. 10 in New York City.

The Level of Competition

One could easily make the argument that a player of Richardson’s caliber would produce incredible statistics against Pac-12 opponents on a weekly basis, while a player of Luck’s aptitude, although exceptional, would be relegated to “skillful” status due to the superior defensive capacity, speed, and general athleticism found in the SEC.

However, neither Luck or Richardson control who they play, they only control how they perform as individuals and team players against the allotted oppositions.

Both Luck and Richardson have not only performed admirably from an individual standpoint, but have also proven to be vital offensive cogs for their respective teams.

It goes without saying that neither Alabama or Stanford would be where they are this season without the offensive contributions and team leadership brought forth by each player.

Luck/Richardson Statistics

QB Andrew Luck-Stanford Cardinal

RB Trent Richardson-Alabama Crimson Tide

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tears in the Ointment: Alabama a lock for title game

The “agenda pushers” and “fly in the ointment” lunatics are coming to the plate for the final time this season and nothing less than a “grand slam” will suffice.

Why such a hefty order? It will take a “grand slam” of “voter proportions” to elevate the Oklahoma State Cowboys ahead of the Alabama Crimson Tide in the final BCS standings.

Current BCS Top 5

While Tim Brando, Rod Gilmore, and a host of other “scenario seekers” look for the next fictional opportunity for chaos, the realists already know the verdict.

An Oklahoma State win over Oklahoma will not be enough to send the Cowboys to New Orleans.

The Okie Pokie Plunge

Remember when OK State lost to unranked Iowa State after being
26-point favorites to win the contest? Sure you do.

The “talking heads”…they all forgot.

If Alabama had lost to Vanderbilt (6-6), Tennessee (5-7), or Mississippi State (6-6) instead of LSU, do you think the media would have suffered the same memory loss? …Of course not. Do you think Alabama would be in national title contention? …Of course not.

Alabama’s only loss of the 2011 season came at the hands of the current (and then) No. 1 team in the nation.

Oklahoma State’s only loss of the 2011 season came at the hands of an unranked (and still unranked) Iowa State club who currently sits at 6-5 with one regular season game remaining on the docket.

Did you say unranked and 6-5? Sounds comparable to the likes of Vanderbilt, Tennessee and/or Mississippi State…correct?

OK State QB Brandon Weeden

For those who claim a team has no business playing for the national title without winning their respective conference, I’m of the opinion no team has any business playing for the national title if they lose a game in overtime after they were favored to win by 26 points.

National champions don’t lose to an unranked team they were predicted to defeat by almost four touchdowns.

I’m well aware the 2008 Florida Gators, losing to unranked Ole Miss, can provide an anomaly to counter the above statements. However, I’m also aware that Ole Miss garnered a nine win season in 2008 and won the Cotton Bowl.

Iowa State, on the other hand, will be lucky to finish the season (bowl included) with a winning record.

If OK State fans are praying for an anomaly…they’re going to be horribly disappointed.

When the final BCS standings are revealed Sunday night, the only toxin in the “ointment” will be the tears of the agenda-laden and disillusioned.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Richardson, Vlachos Receive SEC Honors

Thanks to his career-high 203 yards rushing against the Auburn Tigers, Trent Richardson has been named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time in 2011.

Richardson will share the weekly honor with South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw who looked very impressive Saturday night as he helped the Gamecocks defeat in-state rival Clemson.

With his performance at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Richardson became the 11th player in Alabama history to rush for more than 200-yards in a single contest and the first Tide player to achieve such a feat since Mark Ingram (246-South Carolina) in 2009.

Richardson now has a total of nine 100-yard rushing games this season and currently leads the SEC in rushing averaging 131 yards per contest.

Not to be overshadowed, Alabama center William Vlachos has been named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Auburn.

Vlachos will share the weekly honor with Vanderbilt offensive lineman Kyle Fischer who was instrumental in Vandy’s win over Wake Forest.

In respect to Vlachos, the Crimson Tide center did not allow a sack, quarterback pressure, and had no missed assignments or penalties against Auburn.

Vlachos received an offensive lineman grade of 97 percent which tied the highest percentage of any Crimson Tide offensive lineman this season.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

“Barner” Brutality: Alabama 42 Auburn 14

Led by running back Trent Richardson and the best defense in college football, the Alabama Crimson Tide annihilated the Auburn Tigers to the tune of 42-14.

Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards while quarterback AJ McCarron tossed three touchdown passes in the initial half of play.

In an age where “style points” are imperative, the Crimson Tide made a significant statement and gave the country one final look at “dominance personified” as the 2011 regular season came to an end.

Alabama Aerial Attack

AJ McCarron wasn’t “Joe Montana”…but he was unquestionably efficient and productive.

McCarron finished the afternoon 18-of-23 for 184 yards which included touchdown passes to Kenny Bell, Brad Smelley, and Trent Richardson.

The Alabama offense utilized the tight end position against Auburn as Smelley caught a total of six passes for 86 yards including the aforementioned touchdown.

McCarron was able to spread the ball to a total of seven different receivers on the afternoon while managing to keep the Auburn defense off balance for the majority of the game.

Roll Trent Roll

With runs of 35 and 57 yards, Trent Richardson was able to turn a solid day…into a career day.

The “Heisman hopeful” displayed his amazing talent on a national stage which not only aided Alabama in dismantling their in-state rival, but propelled Richardson into serious Heisman contention.

"To me, Trent's the best football player in the country," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

In the same fashion that Alabama made a national statement as a team, Richardson made his own personal statement as he concluded the 2011 regular season in “career-besting” style.

The Crimson Curtain

As the 2011 edition of the “Iron Bowl” ventured into the final quarter of play, the Auburn Tigers had a robust 44 yards of total offense.

The Tigers would finish the day with 140 total yards which marked the lowest offensive output by any Auburn team in 15 years.

Alabama put an end to Auburn’s 14 game home winning streak, and severed the “genius” tag that AU offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had been carrying since the 2010 season.

The daunting Alabama defense held running back Michael Dyer to a meager 48 yards, while relegating AU quarterback Clint Moseley to just 62 yards through the air including several misguided throws.

One of Moseley’s “misfires” included a “pick-six” by Crimson Tide defensive back Dee Milliner with 14 minutes remaining in the final quarter of play.

When the day was done the Tide defense had limited Auburn to a mere nine first downs and only allowed three third down conversions out of a possible 15 attempts.

Statement Complete

Barring something short of “SEC backlash” of catastrophic proportions, the Alabama Crimson Tide will play for the national championship in New Orleans.

The “agenda pushers” and “fly in the ointment” splinter groups will always remain, but thankfully for the sake of Alabama…sanity still runs the show.

While Tim Brando sits in a dark room and attempts to put UAB in the national title game, the people who actually watch football without an agenda will rightfully place the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national championship game.

Alabama/Auburn Team Statistics

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inside the Numbers: Alabama/Auburn 2011

***Rankings 1-120 to encompass all 120 FBS teams***

*Click on the chart if resolution is not adequate.*

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The Ill-Prepared and Excused: AU Offensive Decline

What has been the biggest difference between the Auburn offense of 2010 and the Auburn offense of 2011?

Is it youth and inexperience across the offensive line? Is it general lack of offensive team chemistry?


Is it the simple fact that Kiehl Frazier, Clint Moseley, and Barrett Trotter combined are not good enough to carry Cam Newton’s jockstrap?

The offensive genius known as Gus Malzahn now looks very pedestrian without his prized possession and arguably one of the best players in the history of college football.

Cam Newton, the man who vaulted Malzahn to the “next big thing” in coaching circles, and seemingly carried the Auburn offense (and defense) through more escapes than Harry Houdini, is now a star with the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League.

Former Genius and Perennial Stooge

For the first time since the 2009 campaign, Gene Chizik has been asked to coach, while Malzahn has been asked to turn “quarterback mediocrity” into “quarterback efficiency” rather than being served individual superiority on a platter without having to develop talent, i.e. Newton.

As the 2011 season draws to a close it has become very clear that Auburn wasn’t prepared for life without Cam Newton…and didn’t care.

The AU coaching staff achieved what they desired last season while virtually conceding (going through the coaching motions) the 2011 campaign to the media clich├ęd “rebuilding” tag.

Want proof of the media “rebuilding” tag? How many times have we all heard the following during an Auburn football telecast by a commentator and/or analyst?

Auburn Win:
Gene Chizik has done an incredible job with such young talent.

Auburn Loss:
Well…Auburn is a very young football team.

When you have “media apologists” at your disposal, a win is declared a milestone and a loss is dismissed, excused, and expected.

As for the fans, the vast majority of “family members” have been (and will continue to be) more than happy to “justify” poor overall play on both sides of the ball (in most all facets) in order to bask in the glow of the school’s first national title in over 50 years.

Auburn Offensive Statistics of Note




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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Triple-Option Trouble: 'Bama 45 Georgia Southern 21

Trent Richardson rushed for a game-high 175 yards and two touchdowns as the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the pesky Georgia Southern Eagles by the score of 45-21.

In a game where “style points” were at a premium, the Alabama defense allowed 341 total yards to the No. 3 team in the FCS.

The Eagles, who ran the triple-option to perfection, kept the Crimson Tide defense confused and guessing for the entire game.

GSU running back Dominique Swope garnered 153 yards and one touchdown against the vaunted Alabama defense, and became only the 10th running back since 2005 to rush for over 100 yards against the Tide.

Collecting 21-points on the afternoon, GSU became the first team to score more than 14-points against Alabama in 2011.

While the Alabama defense had difficulty against the triple-option, the Tide offense was solid.

Other than the aforementioned Richardson, Tide quarterback AJ McCarron completed 14-of-19 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior tight end Brad Smelley was on the receiving end of two touchdowns and earned 58 receiving yards on four receptions.

Alabama accumulated 462 yards of total offense against the Eagles.


-Defensive lineman Jesse Williams suffered food poisoning on Friday night.

-Safety Will Lowery sustained a knee injury against GSU prompting Nick Saban to later say…”it doesn’t look promising.”

Crimson Tide Superlatives

-Running back Trent Richardson set a new school record for the most rushing touchdowns in a single season. The Heisman hopeful surpassed Shaun Alexander’s prior mark of 19.

-The Alabama senior class officially set the school record for most wins obtained by a senior class. Victory No. 46 broke the old mark of 45 set by the senior class of 1994.

GSU/Alabama Team Stats

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crimson Notes 11/16/11

Initial Meeting

Saturday’s contest with the Georgia Southern Eagles will mark the first encounter between GSU and 'Bama on the gridiron.

Senior Class Record

From 1991-94 the Alabama senior class won a grand total of 45 games. With a victory over Georgia Southern the 2011 senior class (2008-11) will obtain win No. 46, establishing a new Alabama school record.

14 or Less

You have to go back to the 1974 Oklahoma Sooners (national champs) in order to find a team who finished the entire season without allowing more than 14 points in a single game.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have achieved that level of success on all 10 occasions thus far in 2011 and show no signs of defensive corrosion.

In what has become arguably the best Alabama defense in 50 years, records continue to be approached…and records continue to be broken.

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Roll Eagles Roll: GSU the “Alabama” of FCS

If University of Alabama football is considered the pinnacle of tradition, the Georgia Southern Eagles are the “Alabama” of FCS (I-AA) competition.

GSU has one of the most impressive resumes of any college football program in the nation, and it includes six FCS national championships and nine Southern Conference titles. The ninth SoCon title was clinched on Saturday following a 31-10 victory over the Wofford Terriers.

From the basic uniforms, to the triple-option offense, the GSU Eagles represent vintage college football while playing in a flamboyant modern era.

FCS Supremacy vs. FBS Supremacy

Georgia Southern Triple-Option

Defending the triple-option is based on discipline and responsibility.

Predicated to do nothing more but force the defense to make a mental mistake and/or “bust” in personnel responsibility, the triple-option is one of the most time-honored and effective offensive systems in the history of college football.

Triple-Option Shotgun

-Former head coach Paul Johnson (1997-2001) introduced the triple-option at GSU before taking the head coaching job at Navy in 2002. Johnson has been the head coach at Georgia Tech since 2008.

-Current GSU head coach Jeff Monken, a longtime assistant under Johnson, reinstalled the triple-option attack when he was hired by the Eagles prior to the 2010 campaign.

Triple-Option Motion (Rare Pass Play)

Fake to "Motion Man" and Running Back

1-Option "A" and "B" Wide Receivers
2-"Motion Man" (bottom left) is "C" Safety Valve

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Common Sense Home Security

This guest post from Werner Rogers

Home security is a common topic at our monthly Homeowners’ Association meetings. Our neighborhood has cameras in several areas but the first steps should start at home! In addition to having Home Alarm Systems, home owners can and should take several commonsense steps to protect themselves and their families. Always lock your doors, even when you are at home. It may seem like an inconvenience to have to unlock the door whenever you go in and out but home invasions are on the rise. How frightening to have someone walk into your house while you are there! Also, don’t open the doors for strangers. Our neighborhood has a “No Solicitation” policy so there is no reason for anyone I don’t know to be at my door. If you live in a neighborhood that does not have a “No Solicitation” policy, talk to your HOA members. Signs for posting throughout the neighborhood are inexpensive and can help keep unwanted solicitors from your doorstep. Having a “No Solicitation” policy allows you to call police whenever you do see strangers approaching your home.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hightower Receives Player of the Week Honors

Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower has been named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Hightower accumulated a team-high 11 tackles against Mississippi State as he helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 24-7 victory in Starkville.

Last month Hightower was the recipient of the Defensive Player of the Week for his Oct. 22 performance against Tennessee.

Injury Report

-Darius Hanks, Barrett Jones, and Jesse Williams are listed as "day-to-day," and are considered questionable for the contest against Georgia Southern.

-Vinnie Sunseri, who was injured during a punt coverage sequence against Mississippi State, is expected to practice today.

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BCS “Games Remaining” Chart **11/13 Standings**

Delphi Glass

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sloppily Successful: Alabama 24 Mississippi State 7

Alabama running back Trent Richardson said a win is the only medicine that can heal a loss. If that is truly the case, the No. 3 team in the country received a fine elixir in Starkville on Saturday night.

Courtesy of Richardson’s 127 yards, one touchdown, and an Alabama defense that refused to be nothing less than the best, the Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs of Mississippi State by the score of 24-7.

It goes without saying Alabama looked and played “hung-over” after the heartbreaking defeat at the hands of LSU, but the Tide managed to put enough pieces in order to take control of the second half and defeat a lackluster MSU team.

While the Alabama aerial attack and field goal productivity continue to be problem areas, the ground game and stalwart defense continue to be more than proficient.

In a contest that was reminiscent of yesteryear, the defense held down the fortress until the offense arrived to meet the challenge.

Alabama was “sloppily successful” against the Bulldogs, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how the healing elixir goes down…just as long as it does.

Alabama Individual/Team Stats

McCarron-14/24 163 Yards 1 INT

Richardson-*32 Carries 127 Yards 1 TD
*Career-High Carries
Lacy-11 Carries 96 Yards 2 TDs

Norwood-2 Receptions 60 Yards
Richardson-2 Receptions 26 Yards
Maze-4 Receptions 22 Yards
White-3 Receptions 21 Yards
Williams-1 Reception 16 Yards
Bell-1 Reception 16 Yards
Hanks-1 Reception 2 Yards

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brandon Hill Gives Verbal to ‘Bama

St. George’s High School (TN) offensive lineman Brandon Hill has given his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama according to his high school coach.

Hill, who stands 6-foot-6 and tops the scale at 352-pounds, selected Alabama over the likes of Georgia and Mississippi State.

Rated a three-star prospect by, Hill becomes the 20th Alabama verbal commitment in respect to the 2012 signing class.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dressed to Impress: Statement time for one-loss Tide

With only three games remaining in the 2011 regular season, the Alabama Crimson Tide have no other “self-controlled” option than to obliterate Mississippi State, Georgia Southern…and Auburn.

Alabama can’t control who they play, but they can control how they play.

Now is not the time for the Crimson Tide to exhibit “poor me syndrome” but rather time to focus on the task at hand.

Alabama will need to impress from here on out, and the Crimson Tide “beauty contest” will begin Saturday night in Starkville against a
multi-faceted Mississippi State offense.

Two-Quarterback Bulldogs

The Mississippi State Bulldogs continue to utilize a two-quarterback system and the Alabama defense will have to be prepared to face the option attack (QB/RB) and the standard passing attack.

Chris Relf is often called upon to run the football, while Tyler Russell is the more traditional passing quarterback and only presents a marginal threat on the ground.

Both quarterbacks, especially Relf, have experience and know how to operate the MSU offense.

Priority Rushing

As has been the case with MSU for many, many moons, the running game is the heart of the offense.

Led by Vick Ballard, the Bulldogs will attempt to run the football against the Crimson Tide and do so in a variety of ways.

Expect MSU to display various offensive formations and wrinkles to keep the ‘Bama defense guessing and perplexed.

Passively Passing

The MSU aerial attack has never been a thing of beauty, but State does possess several talented receivers who can make explosive plays in the open field.

Given the inconsistent passing game within the MSU offense it is certainly difficult to have a steady and cohesive receiving unit. Nevertheless, the Alabama secondary will have to be attentive and prepared.

Any mediocre (passing) quarterback can transform from “zero to hero” courtesy of a busted coverage in the secondary.

The Alabama defense has been known to take a “secondary siesta” from time-to-time and allow long plays in the passing game.

Monday, November 7, 2011

BCS “Remaining Games” Chart

Who needs to lose in order to help Alabama? Who needs to win in order to help Alabama?

The BCS standings will shuffle and the overall records will change, but the “remaining games” list is a keeper.

Click on the chart, save it…and enjoy the next month of college football.

Roll Tide!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stumble and Recover: ‘Bama No. 3 in BCS Standings

2-Oklahoma State
5-Boise State

Next Game:

Western Kentucky at 1) LSU
2) Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
3) Alabama at Mississippi State
Oregon at 4) Stanford
TCU at 5) Boise State

TomTom Go Confidently

“Les” is more: LSU 9 Alabama 6

Les Miles is quite the zany fellow, but he is also arguably the best college football coach in the nation.

For the second consecutive season the LSU Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide, and for the second consecutive season, Les Miles outcoached Nick Saban.

Under the bright lights of Bryant-Denny Stadium it was Miles who was steady and calculated in his attack, while Saban pulled out trick plays and ill-advised field goal attempts from a career-long inconsistent kicker.

What was the result? LSU 9 Alabama 6.

In a game of high-stakes the “little things” come home to roost, and for Alabama that was certainly the case.

Crimson Lowlights

-The aforementioned missed and arguably ill-advised field goals.

-Failed trick plays---Marquis Maze falling down on a reverse---Maze throwing an interception out of the “wildcat” formation. **Maze INT came directly after a 24-yard Trent Richardson run which put ‘Bama inside the LSU 30.**

-Illegal substitution penalties which put the Tide behind the chains. **Crucial substitution penalty in the overtime session.**

-Critical interception by Mark Barron, but an even more critical block in the back on the return resulting in loss of field position. **Barron returned the ball to the LSU four-yard line.**

-Brad Wing’s 73-yard punt which was allowed to roll “dead” instead of fielded. **Punt returner Maze claimed the ball struck a camera wire in flight. The claim was later denied by the camera operator.**

-Not physically handing the ball to the best player on the field (Richardson) during the overtime period, but instead choosing to pass or attempt to pass…three straight plays.

Pondering the Future

In a “depressing” turn of events, the best defense Alabama has fielded in 50 years, and arguably one of the best defenses in college football history, will possibly have nothing to show for all the hard work and dedication. No SEC title…no national title.

Alabama is still very much “in the game” but the Crimson Tide will need outside help…which is always a gamble.

The idea of a rematch is certainly tantalizing given the fact that LSU and Alabama are indeed the two best teams in the country, however, ‘Bama had four quarters and an overtime session to defeat the Tigers…and were unsuccessful.

An Alabama win over LSU in the national title game would do nothing but “even the score”…and only provoke more questions.

The Crimson Tide had a chance and kicked it all away…quite literally.

>>>LSU/Alabama Game Statistics<<<

Thursday, November 3, 2011

LSU/Alabama: Importance of Self-Discipline

Earlier this week the topic of mental fortitude was discussed in relation to the hype that surrounds the LSU/Alabama contest.

In conjunction with the concept of mental resilience conquering propaganda, the theme of self-discipline is also a worthy topic for dissection and conversation.

Is it possible to overcome the hype, yet remain undisciplined during the game?

Here are several examples of undisciplined football that could very well become significant Saturday night…

-False start on third-and-one.
-Offsides on third-and-one.
-An offensive lineman commits a “lazy” hold because he was out of kilter at the snap.
-Block in the back on a kickoff/punt return when the block in question had nothing to do with the play.
-Running back gets the edge for five-yards then a disgruntled defender throws him into the waterboy for an unknown reason.
-“Lazy” hold/pass interference by a defensive back because he was too lethargic to get in position in the first place.

Feel free to add another 50 reasons while you ponder.

Conquering hype is the ability to refute the media, the cameras, and the bright lights; however, self-discipline is the ability to control your own personal conduct.

Self-discipline is not something that can be achieved overnight, or even during the course of two-week game preparation.

The Alabama Crimson Tide average 3.4 penalties per contest, while the LSU Tigers average 6.5.

Pay close attention to the “yellow rags” come Saturday night.

Just because you've conquered the hype…doesn’t mean you've exorcised yourself.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

LSU/Alabama: Mental Fortitude Conquers Hype

The game between LSU and Alabama has been dubbed the “Super Bowl” of college football by many pundits and fans.

The hype is so thick not even the finest knife can penetrate the atmosphere surrounding the likely de facto national championship game.

When the eyes of the sporting world shine upon a particular event, the pressure on those directly involved can be overwhelming, and at

When the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide collide at Bryant-Denny Stadium, immense talent will be showcased and “statistical duels” will be put to rest in favor of the “physical duel” that has been anticipated by both teams and fans since spring practice.

If the stats are virtually even, and the physical talent is steadfast…how do you win? How does a single player or an entire team conquer the hype and the propaganda?

…Mental fortitude.

The team with the utmost mental determination will prevail under the dense pressure of the game and bright lights of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The team with the supreme mental stamina won’t blink in the face of high stakes…but triumph in the face of pandemonium.

LSU and Alabama will go head-to-head Saturday night in front of the world. However, LSU and Alabama would go head-to-head if the stadium was empty and nobody cared. The game has to be played, but the hype is simply an “accept or decline” preference.

One team will buckle under the “party line” while another squad will merely play with cerebral resilience and sweep the “mythical hype” under the nearest sideline bench.

The so-called “experts” can “talk up” LSU/Alabama and break the game down until the only thing that remains are minuscule fragments. However, “talking heads” won’t be sacking your favorite quarterback or scoring the game winning touchdown on Saturday.

Hype is a myth, but staying power is real. The ability to conquer with mental fortitude is authentic.

The LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide have been given a “media platform” for greatness. The team who chooses to ignore the platform will obtain the greatness. The platform is a trick…but greatness is tangible and time-honored.

In sports, as in life, you can either take advantage of the opportunity…or let the opportunity take advantage of you.

Saturday night is a football game…not a hype satiate festival. The team that falls for the trap, will encounter their first loss of 2011.

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