- Alabama had won 12 straight against Arkansas.
- Alabama’s Heisman candidate was out for this game.
- Alabama’s next game is against #2 LSU.
According to Crimson Tide head coach, Nick Saban, those facts are all “rat poison.” In Saban’s dictionary, “rat poison” would be defined as “outside noise, typically generated by the media, that causes distraction from the task at hand.” But Coach Saban is a media firewall for his team. His fury seems to always translate to his team’s focus – look away from the shiny objects, and focus on hammering the Hogs.
As usual, that’s just what Alabama did.
Prior to kickoff, Alabama players from the 2009 national championship team were recognized as part of the 10 year anniversary of their accomplishment. This was Nick Saban’s first national title with the Tide, and it encapsulates a decade of dominance that could arguably be college football’s all-time top dynasty.
The Arkansas Razorbacks were today’s contributors to this dynasty. Their four most significant contributions came in the form of turnovers that resulted in points for the Crimson Tide – not that Alabama needed the help. Heisman Trophy candidate Tua Tagovailoa’s inability to play never became a factor as backup QB Mac Jones plugged in and effortlessly executed in what would finish as a 48-7 rout of the Razorbacks.
Interestingly, Mac Jones’s back up, got some reps as well. Tua’s little brother, Taulia Tagovailoa, slung the ball around the field a bit in the second half. With Tua studying Taulia from the sidelines, it certainly appeared that Alabama will be fine at the quarterback position for a while.
From the Walk of Champions, to the pregame Elephant Stomp band concert, to every utterance of “Roll Tide,” it was clear that Crimson Tide fans were not breaking a sweat about their opponent today.
That is the unfortunate drawback to dynasties. While Nick Saban is a master at distancing his players from rat poison, many fans gobble it up like it is candy. Soaring expectations can often lead to fan complacency.
Most fanbases would pray for one national title in their lifetime with all the unmatched experiences, indelible memories, and community comradery that is packaged with it. As Alabama strives for their 6th national title in ten years, I hope Tide fans never lose sight of what makes a college football Saturday in Tuscaloosa so special.