Tuesday, January 10, 2012

01/10 (Alabama) Quickie

"They are a hateful bunch." That is Nick Saban describing his defense. What an appropriately colorful way to put it, after Bama's D shut out LSU to power the Tide to another national title.

It is an undisputed result from a highly disputable process. These were the two best teams -- Oklahoma State fans might weakly protest, but down deep they know that their Cowboys would be decimated by either of these defenses -- and if LSU's win in early November gave them a slight nudge (particularly for winning in Tuscaloosa), Alabama's win in the rematch was decisive.

Sometimes, teams are what we think they are. In the same way that this title-game rendered the first match-up basically moot, the fact that most people had Alabama tabbed as the No. 1 team in August proves that for all its eccentricities, college football is pretty simple: Bama's combination of arguably the best defense we've had in a decade and a punishingly simple offense made them an easy pick to win the title before a game had been played -- and after all of them had been played.

We are bordering on a dynasty here -- Florida's national titles in '06 and '08 were just as impressive, but could be bracketed under the "Tebow dynasty." Alabama's titles in '09 and '11 came with different QBs, different lead RBs, different WRs and TEs and a largely reloaded defense (one which nearly carried the team to a national title last year, too).

Saban's "hateful bunch" -- and seeing them in person at The Swamp earlier this fall, when they just ripped the soul out of the Gators (...again), that moniker is totally appropriate -- is the best program in college football, and right now it's hard to imagine another team that can knock them off.


*Early prediction for the 2012 college football season: The regular-season winner of Alabama-LSU will win the national title (regular season: this time we really mean it!), but expect someone from the second tier of USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and West Virginia -- at least two of which will be unbeaten -- to claim the No. 2 spot in the title game.

*Baseball Hall of Fame: It's Barry Larkin -- entirely deserving -- and that's it, which is a shame. Folks can debate about someone like Jack Morris or Alan Trammell (whose profile is not so different from Larkin's) and there is certainly a philosophical debate about admitted PED users like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro -- both entirely Hall-worthy on the numbers alone -- but it is mystifying that Jeff Bagwell remains on the outside. With loaded classes coming up next year and beyond, it's hard to know what will happen with the holdovers.

*NFL Jobs: Congrats to Romeo Crennel for earning the Chiefs' head-coaching gig on a full-time basis. His firing in a few years is an inevitability.

*One year ago today, I launched Quickish. Since then, it has been a non-stop roller-coaster -- 30-word blurbs and 90-second video clips at a time. Sincerest thanks for your continued support. Now: Go visit Quickish -- and tell 10 friends, while you're at it.

-- D.S.

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