Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) runs after a catch against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first quarter of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Healthy Amari Cooper the key to an explosive Bama offense

Amari Cooper is the key to Alabama’s success this season.

I base this on a scientifically sound formula based on thunderstorms, a bored 11-year-old, and me cleaning up after dinner. Don’t argue with me. It’s science.

See, the other night, a storm was rolling in after dinner. Normally, my kids go swimming in our pool during the late summer daylight. A brutal thunderstorm was not going to let this be a possibility, so my son sidled up to my laptop that was parked in the kitchen.

As I cleaned the kitchen post-dinner, he began watching Crimson Tide highlights on YouTube. He first called up Alabama-Michigan from 2013. Next was a 2009 compilation. He started to surf for Iron Bowl games, and I warned him to tread carefully there.

He then called up the 2012 SEC Championship Game, against Georgia. That game is easily one of the greatest slugfests in college football history, and by most accounts, Georgia had as much right to go and annihilate Notre Dame as we did.

(Disclaimer: I have no beef with Georgia. My father is an Alabama grad and a Tuscaloosa native, but he’s also a retired UGA professor. Our family loves Bama, but, growing up, my nuclear family also loved our house, our meals, etc. If Georgia isn’t playing the Tide, I’m good with them winning.)

I left my kitchen detail for a few minutes and began watching the highlights. HaHa’s interception (followed by Quinton Dial laying out Aaron Murray). The blocked kick for a TD. Todd Gurley being every much the manbeast as our running backs.

But the one thing that struck me were two Amari Cooper plays that showed he is a man among boys – his 50-yard leaping grab from AJ McCarron over Bacarri Rambo, and his 50-yard track meet touchdown late in the fourth.

He had some drops last year that seemed uncharacteristic, but he also was dogged by nagging injuries throughout the season.

Here’s hoping for a healthy Amari in 2014, and that Jacob Coker is every bit the rifleman he has been billed. We may have our stable of studs at running back, but a deep threat like Cooper can make Lane Kiffin’s offense one of the most potent Bama has seen.

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