|Everybody Just Calm Down By: Andy Croy|
|Friday, 21 September 2012|
You ever tell anyone a piece of advice
and know that the moment you say it you are saying it for yourself as
much as you are for them? Well I am going to do that for both of us
right now. We all just need to calm down. Listen, I’m as excited as
Everybody Just Calm Down
By: Andy Croy
You ever tell anyone a piece of advice and know that the moment you say it you are saying it for yourself as much as you are for them? Well I am going to do that for both of us right now. We all just need to calm down. Listen, I’m as excited as anyone about the way our season has started. If you told me we were going to blow out (and I am not sure those words are strong enough) our first three opponents before the season started, I would have called you crazy. If you would have told me that the best a team would play us in our first three games would come from Western Kentucky, I probably would have removed myself from the conversation. But, now that the excitement has worn off to some extent, I look back only to realize we have not accomplished anything yet.
As much of the sports world predicted, we demolished an undermanned Big Ten opponent. We did what we were supposed to do against Western Kentucky. Then came Arkansas, the game where we were supposed to find out who we really were. Well thanks for the help Arkansas. We didn’t learn a darn thing. Tyler Wilson is obviously the key to Arkansas’ team. They were up three touchdowns on LA-Monroe when he went down. We all know how that one ended. I thought being at home and knowing that much of the team had us marked on their calendars since last season would at least get us a fight. Alas, 52 fatal points later we still await our test. So let’s calm our nerves and look forward at what’s to come.
This week we have another fellowship game. What’s a fellowship, you ask? It is yet another game where we all gather together and enjoy being kings of the college football universe. No worries come along with Florida Atlantic. I wish that I could throw a cautionary tale of App State vs. Michigan or even a LA Tech vs. Alabama, except with the way our staff prepares our team to play week in and week out. We all know that there is no way for that to happen. Sure, we will look sloppy. We will make bonehead plays that will have us scratching our heads afterwards. My mother, who is definitely not a football guru, even texted me after that Western Kentucky game saying, “Six sacks…not good.” I do not know what our lapse in focus will cost us this week, but I simply cannot believe that a team that lost to Georgia 56-20 will put up a fight. So go and enjoy it, say hello to Mom, and experience the fellowship for all those Bama fans that can’t make it to this one. Meanwhile, we will move on and continue to search for that true test.
The following week we welcome Ole Miss to T-town, or as my college roommate loves to call them, Ole Sis’. While on the surface this game looks a lot like the previous one on our schedule, I will throw a cautionary tale. I am sure we all remember that famous Tebow “pledge.” Do we all remember why it was necessary? It was because a heavy underdog in Ole Miss rolled into Gainesville and hung one on the Gators by way of a missed extra point. That is what happens when an extremely talented team gets lulled to sleep with constant stories of their own greatness. While the 66-31 shellacking Ole Miss took at the hands of Texas is one reason to shrug you shoulders, that 31 points they scored is not. Teams like Ole Miss live for the games against us. We are universally hated throughout the SEC. Those players will have been told all week how terrible they are. By the time that game comes, records aside, we will get their best game. It is the type of game that those players want to tell their grandkids about. “You know kids, when I was at Ole Miss, we beat number one Alabama and ruined their season.” That is exactly how their coaches will sell it to their team as well. All it takes is a fumble here and a missed assignment there. Before you know it, it is a close game in the fourth quarter and only one play away from being an upset. Don’t believe me? There is a plaque on the walls of The Swamp that denotes that last time a team fell asleep. They came back to win the title, but we all know that the college football world is tired of the SEC dominance. They are looking for any reason to leave us out.
While I am as apt as anyone to get all jacked up and excited, I know that there is going to be a game that we do not expect that gives us the game of the year. Tennessee was a bad team, and it took a Mt. Cody miracle to bring us that win. In every championship run a team faces those tests. It is extremely rare for a team to simply run through another team uncontested. I know the big game looms large on November the 3rd. I know that the national media believes that we can only beat ourselves. This is the SEC. If we fall asleep at the wheel, in any way, shape, or form, it will cost us. I know I didn’t see us getting manhandled by South Carolina coming two years ago. I simply ask the question: Who is this year’s South Carolina? Who is this year’s Tennessee? That is the thing about playing in the best conference in college football. We simply do not know. So, please go out and enjoy being number one. Revel in the fact that all is right with the college football world, because we sit atop of it. But every empire in history eventually falls. If we lapse for a moment, we will be the next cautionary tale told in pre-game speeches. “Remember when…” I know I don’t want that memory. Roll Tide.
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