As the Tide currently sit at 3-0, and No. 1 in the nation, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has taken a different approach to the 2012 Alabama team. Not only will he not “crown” the Tide, he effectively called Alabama an overrated team who has yet to play anyone of significance.
In a recent online chat, Kiper proclaimed that ‘Bama faced “depleted” Michigan and Arkansas teams, and exploited that basis as “proof” that Alabama has yet to be tested.
ESPN Chat Question: Is it a foregone conclusion that Alabama wins another National Championship? They seem to be in a class of their own?
Kiper: I disagree. I think there's an overreaction to Alabama right now. They beat a depleted Michigan team and depleted Arkansas team. Alabama has not been tested yet, even though people want to act like these were statement games. At Missouri won't be easy. At LSU. At Tennessee. Those aren't easy games. I think Alabama is a little overrated. I hate to say that, because Nick Saban is one of the best coaches out there.
One can only assume that by “depleted” Kiper is referring to the absence of Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint and Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson. Neither Toussaint nor Wilson played against the Crimson Tide.
Common sense should have told Kiper that based on Alabama’s dominance of both teams, that a single running back and a single quarterback would not have been able to “change the game” given the authority and decisive
“beat-down” that was placed on both Michigan and Arkansas.
Matt Scalici, Sports Producer for al.com
Would Fitz Toussaint have made a huge difference for Michigan in a contest in which they lost 41-14? Common sense would say no.
Would Tyler Wilson have made a huge difference for Arkansas in a contest in which they lost 52-0? Common sense would say no.
A truly “overrated” team beats a “depleted” team by a mere 10 points, not 27 and 52 respectively. As a side note, neither Toussaint nor Wilson play defense, so Kiper’s “argument” simply holds no validity.
One can only assume that, for example, 41-21 and 52-14 victories over Michigan and Arkansas, with Toussaint and Wilson in the line-up, would have sufficed for Kiper, but since the aforementioned players did not play, Alabama is overrated after defeating two “depleted” teams.
Carry on, Mel...carry on…