Alabama football breathes in these adjectives as they have secured themselves as a championship-devouring machine. Such success consequently translates into a loyal Crimson Tide fan base and top-notch college atmosphere.
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.
Tradition and Texas A&M are inexorably tied. Aside from the cavernous stadium that stretches high into the Lone Star sky, the traditions that have been in place for decades have not been altered – only improved with age.
At halftime of this game, I was feeling a bit complacent. After visiting 75 stadiums for nearly 300 games, I wondered what adventures lie ahead that could shock or surprise. After all, Texas A&M has been my number one bucket list stadium for years, and it exceeded expectations. Don’t get me wrong, college football never disappoints, but today, it’s timing was epic. Any wisps of dormancy that emerged to my senses were obliterated by the most unexpected, mouth-gaping, 7-overtime thriller of a finish that I have ever experienced.
Even though Lexington lies on the northern portion of SEC country, southern flavor still lives strongly in Kentucky. The scenery toward Lexington is what one might expect with rolling hills giving way to fenced-in horse pastures. Fans tailgate around the stadium as sections of the Kentucky band visit random tailgates for a private show. The wide mass of fans dressed in blue moves like ocean waves toward Kroger Field to watch the band perform as the team makes their entrance during the pregame Catwalk. Kentucky’s band bangs out “Kentucky Fight” while fans welcome the team.
Wildcat enthusiasm took a huge hit as dreams of an SEC title game appearance evaporated with losses to Georgia and Tennessee. Kentucky has still produced a record setting season including its first win over Florida in 31 attempts. Senior day descended upon Lexington today with a deceptively tough Middle Tennessee team coming into Kroger Field and records that still needed breaking.
Before even having attended LSU, I described it as one of my top 5 visits along the college football tour. I just knew – and I wasn’t disappointed. Few places blend hospitality and hostility so well – the fans are most welcoming and the stadium is most intimidating. This is especially true on a Saturday night.
The stadium here at Florida is nicknamed The Swamp. Coined by coaching legend Steve Spurrier, the nickname caught on when he famously said, “In the Swamp, only gators get out alive.” That statement holds a lot of truth as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium stands tall, imposing, and loud.
Both the Seminoles and Gators came into this classic college football rivalry at 4-6. However, the hatred for each other superseded the mediocre records.
Loud and rowdy fans.
Rivalry Saturday was alive in Gainesville.