Inadvertently, I find myself reading about the end of the world.
Perhaps I should blame Appalachian State (or Michigan) for this development. But, with a three-point spread on the road, I hope it not Jung’s collective unconscious warning me about tomorrow’s game with Vanderbilt.
An exiting Commodore coach once stated Vanderbilt’s problem as, on Monday through Friday, they try to be Harvard but on Saturday they expect to be Alabama. However, since that quote was let loose, they may have closed the gap--if not on Harvard, then certainly on Alabama.
The days of using Alabama as shorthand for success on the football field have (temporarily, we expect) ended. Furthermore, Vanderbilt, despite their losing records, has become a solid opponent, producing a first-round draft selection at quarterback recently and likely one at receiver currently. Add to this their recent victories over Georgia and Tennessee, and you must admit that this is not the same ol’ Vandy.
This was the conversation among some Crimson Tide faithful the other day while discussing plans for attending the game. In retort, it was offered that “Vandy is still Vandy. They have good players here or there, but not enough depth to last four quarters. That’s the way it’s always been.”
To this, the best of our gamblers replied, “Oh yeah? Steely Dan use to write songs about us . . . things change.”
Hopefully, for the better. Last week’s drumming of Western Carolina was little more than a glorified scrimmage and an excuse to reveal the depth chart. Alabama, despite claims of limiting themselves to the vanilla playbook, showed more creativity on offense in three quarters than they had in three years--one lateral to a lineman excluded, of course.
So we enter tomorrow’s game curious. With so many new faces on defense, a new coaching staff, and a legitimate opponent, how will Alabama respond to one of the better quarterback-receiver duos in the conference? The Great Leader claims to have a plan for everything, but what it will be is anyone’s guess.
My plans are simple: mix the Bloody Marys the night before, take in an early morning stroll through Music City, find my seat, and keep an ear out for the classic rock station.