Alabama Football: Will Monday be a Rose Bowl or a Sugar Bowl type game?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Mack Wilson /

Will the Alabama football and Georgia national championship contest be more like the Rose Bowl, the Sugar Bowl or neither?

Alabama football vs. Clemson and Georgia vs. Oklahoma were markedly different college football battles. The Rose Bowl was a bonanza of explosive plays as gaudy as its setting. The Sugar Bowl was more like hand-to-hand combat between infantrymen.

For college football fans who value teams for offensive potency, the Rose Bowl was a beauty. To those same fans, the Sugar Bowl was ugly, almost plodding. But to the few remaining college football fans who revere defense over games where the last team with the ball wins, the Sugar Bowl was far from ugly.

Searching for non-football descriptions, the Rose Bowl was a dance contest while the Sugar Bowl was a street fight. Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News who has written about more Alabama football games than anyone said,

"It was ugly — except the outcome. That’s how wars are won, even if beauty pageants aren’t."

In the post-game, Nick Saban said the Crimson Tide will look to carry its “warrior mentality” forward into the championship game. As Cecil suggests the Tide will be content to play ‘ugly’ again.

"The question may be, can Alabama make it ugly enough?"

No time for 24-hour rule

It has not been reported but we suspect Saban’s ’24-hour’ rule was discarded before the team bus rolled away from the Superdome. A 24-minute break would have been more fitting, at least for the coaching staff who must quickly hone the already developed Georgia game plan.

The Tide will need to win ‘ugly’ again in Atlanta, riding a rejuvenated defense to another championship. Georgia poses a bigger challenge than a one-dimensional run-heavy Clemson team. Clemson is better on defense than the Bulldogs, but Georgia is far superior on offense.

Injury attrition reared its frightful head again Monday night. The Tide may have lost two key players in Anfernee Jennings and Lester Cotton.

Among Alabama football and Georgia faithful, a week of debate will rage over the merits of each team. Fans would do well to remember the often repeated quote attributed to Joe Paterno.

"You are never as good as you think you are when you win and you are never as bad as you feel when you lose."

Both the Georgia and Alabama football teams got the second half of the quote right after losses to Auburn. Such resiliency is commendable. It will be needed again Monday night in a game both teams will look to dominate but neither are likely able to do so.

Next: Does Defense Still Win Championships?

The upcoming practice schedule will be interesting. For a major game, it is a short turnaround. Lane Kiffin credited a reduced practice schedule by Nick Saban for the dominance over Clemson.