Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bring on Auburn!

The No. 1 Crimson Tide is now 11-0, and has two weeks to get ready for their Nov. 29 showdown with Auburn:

Javier Arenas ran back a punt 80 yards for one touchdown and set up a score with another long return, helping No. 1 Alabama roll to a 32-7 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) didn't need a dominant offensive performance to turn back a team that had given 'Bama fits the past two years.
Kareem Jackson blocked a punt in the end zone for a safety and Leigh Tiffin kicked three field goals to help keep Alabama on track for a perfect regular season leading up to a showdown with No. 3 Florida in the SEC championship game.
Looking ahead to the SEC title game is a very bad idea. Right now, the Tide needs to focus every ounce of their energy on getting read to stomp Auburn, which has beaten Alabama five years running.

A little history lesson for anyone who doesn't understand how important beating Auburn is to Tide fans: In 1989, Bill Curry had 'Bama at 10-0 going into the Auburn game and lost 30-20. It was the third year in a row Curry had lost to Auburn, and after that game, some hard-core fool threw a brick through Curry's office window.


UPDATE: While researching the background on that brick-through-the-window story, I came across this quote from Bill Curry, who was (and is) a fine man:

"You can put that crimson jersey on anybody -- he may not be a great athlete -- and he will play his heart out. He becomes somebody else on Saturday. You can work the team harder than the norm, and nobody will quit. A kid can't quit and go home to Dothan and say to his dad, 'I just quit the Crimson Tide.' "

That is the value of tradition. It's like the Marines.

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