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Legendary Ex-Coaches Believe Bama’s Still Better Than LSU

In 2008, when Ole Miss upset Florida in The Swamp — inspiring Tim Tebow’s “promise” speech — no one walked away saying, “Mississippi is clearly the better team.”  Ole Miss had played the best game on that day, but they weren’t a better team than Florida.

Upsets happen.  No one thought Chaminade was really better than Virginia way in 1982.  So it shouldn’t surprise folks that there are still plenty of people who believe Alabama’s roster is better than LSU’s. 

Most of those people don’t live in Louisiana, of course.

Mike Griffith of The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a number of ex-coaching greats voting in the Scripps Legend Poll still say Bama’s the best team in the land.


Gene Stallings:  “I think if they played the game 10 times, Alabama would win seven of them.  The best team doesn’t always win.”

Vince Dooley:  “I still believe Alabama would win two out of three times.  I think Alabama is a little better.  It was just a classic, between two of the best teams, just physical athletes, that I can remember at one time in a season.”

John Cooper:  “It was a great defensive game, two great teams, very conservative game plans.  I still think Alabama was the best team but didn’t win that game.  I think if they played five times, Alabama would win three of them.”


So how did Alabama lose?  “It’s the damn kicking game,” Pat Dye said.  “The kicking game determines close games.  Alabama missed four field goals, and they let them (punt) the ball 72 yards.  The only mistake LSU had in the kicking game was the flagrant foul on the punt return.”

From there, the ex-coaches breakdown an area of the game that I myself took issue with on Saturday night — Nick Saban’s decision to keep attempting long field goals.

Alabama clearly did not have anyone capable of connecting on 40+ yard field goals.  Knowing points would be at a premium, Saban continued to take shots regardless.  Had he punted LSU deep into its own territory time and again in the first half, who knows how things might have played out.  Clearly, the Tigers weren’t going to move the ball any farther on Bama than Bama did on LSU.

But that’s history at this point.  And LSU went into Tuscaloosa and beat Alabama on its home field.  End of story.  Whether they’d win one out of 10 or 10 out of 10 means nothing.  They won the game they played.

As a New England fan, I can tell you that the Patriots weren’t a better team than the St. Louis Rams in 2001.  But for one night, they were.  And in 2007 — dagnabbit — the Patriots were a much better team than the New York Giants… except for the night that counted most.

LSU was better than Alabama when it counted.  Regardless of who has the better roster and the most talent, all that matters is the final score from last Saturday night.

 


9 comments
carollct
carollct

Just curious as to what happened to that SEC 1/2 or 1 game suspension on Tyrann Mathieu that you so adamantly stated would happen by Wednesday of this week? In your article, you blasted him for a flagrant clothesline on Dre Kirkpatrick, yet the referees called a "holding" penalty on him and he only received a 5 yd penalty. If it had been a clothesline or a horsecollar tackle or any other flagrant personal foul, the penalty would have been 15 yards, which did not happen. Did you not understand what the referees called and just what penalty was enacted for it? Was it just your overblown reactive opinion that led you to not properly describe all the details of what actually happened and to malign Mr. Mathieu? I would say that you apparently owe Mr. Mathieu an apology for so maligning him in error last week. He extended a public apology to Dre Kirkpatrick for being part of the incident that led to Dre getting hurt, though it wasn't a vicious hit, as you described...don't you think you should apologize to him for your errors, too?

JTR
JTR

"I would say that you apparently owe Mr. Mathieu an apology"

This is the funniest post I have ever read!

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

carolict...

Here's what was written:

"The Honey Badger may have to spend some more time off the field this week. We expect the SEC offices will come down with a half-game suspension on LSU’s talented cornerback Tyrann Mathieu for the unnecessary clothesline that he delivered to Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick during a punt return on Saturday night...

That said, we believe that by Wednesday Mathieu will receive his sentence and he’ll be left on the bench for the first half of the Tigers’ next game with Western Kentucky. (And he may get a full-game suspension depending on how angry Slive was over the negative PR factor.)

Slive and the SEC office have set a precedent with blindside, dangerous shots to defenseless players. If they don’t penalize Mathieu, there will be a lot of questions coming from other corners of the conference."

I see "believe," "expect," and "may" in those paragraphs. So I wasn't quite adamant. I left some wiggle room because I'm not Mike Slive.

That said, everyone not wearing purple and gold thought the hit was dirty and cheap. From the broadcasters doing the game to the folks delivering highlights afterward.

And I believe the league has opened itself up to questioning the next time a blindside cheap shot is delivered. They seemed to set a precedent in the weeks prior and now they've backed away from that.

As for apologizing? Why would I apologize? I gave my opinion. Slive might have disagreed with my opinion, but that doesn't change it. So there's no "error" involved. I anticipated a suspension based on precedent. The league didn't deliver a punishment.

We give our opinions on this site. Do it everyday. And we're right a heckuva lot more than we're wrong. But that won't mean we'll never be wrong.

And we certainly don't owe Mathieu an apology for saying we thought he would be suspended. No one called him a bad person. We said he delivered a dirty hit. We still think he did.

Thanks for reading,
John

Rob
Rob

Oh good grief.

I'm surprised that John would even touch this subject and still be able to hold his head high.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Rob...

What does that even mean?

John

FourThinInches
FourThinInches

I don't like to give Bob Davie any credit. But he was the only announcer i saw that said this game would be low scoring game and it would be all about special teams. Sure enough, he was right.

Bulldog
Bulldog

Good write-up. I'm tired of all the excuses we've always heard from Bama fans. They lost. They lost. They lost. Period. As an MSU fan I can tell you that most Bama fans wouldn't make it as MSU fans. Sort of like rooting for the Cubs. You don't pull for them so you can brag every week or so you can feel better about yourself, or so you feel like you are above most other people solely because of the football team you pull for...
You pull for MSU simply because you love your team...knowing most games you are going to lose. If you switched fan bases between MSU and BAMA, you could immediately cut the Bama fans in half.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Did half the Bama fans disappear in the 10 years between Gene Stallings retiring and the arrival of Nick Saban? Not even close.

Most Bama fans are Bama fans because that's what they grew up being or that's where they went to school. And that's the way it is with about 95% of college football fans even MSU fans. It's not because the people have some sort of inherent superiority complex and cheer for someone that makes them feel better about themselves. Get a grip, that doesn't even make sense.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

I'm going to send these guys some cheese to go with that wine.

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