Three early-season games show chasm between many programs and elites like Alabama football.
Like many fanbases, Alabama football fans are desperate for gridiron action. Three early-season games showcased three FBS teams and two FCS teams. UAB and South Alabama deserve acknowledgment for wins. South Alabama especially are to be commended for winning while being a decided underdog. Beyond that, there was not much to excite from the five teams.
Announcers complimented UAB’s defense, but the Blazers allowed Central Arkansas to score 35 on them. The 2020 season opener in Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl had an exciting finish. What stuck out the most in the Central Arkansas vs. Austin Peay game was how small are many of the players. Not many Power Five bodies graced the old Montgomery Stadium. The game had some exciting plays executed by skillful players. But it was the smaller and noticeably slower players who stood out the most. Some of the quarterbacks looked good at times, but coverage by the defensive backs was lackluster.
Bottom line, none of the three games so far provided much of a college football fix. There are plenty of games from Sept. 5 through Friday, Sept. 25. All of them will interest some fans. For Alabama football fans, what we’ll call the ‘interval’ games will be far better than no football. A few of the games could even be great fun.
Starting with Sat. Sept. 5, any lover of college football history will enjoy MTSU at Army. Situated less than a mile from the banks of the Hudson River, Michie Stadium’s site at West Point, is lovely. Sports Illustrated once named the old stadium No. 3 in a ranking of the Top 20 college football stadiums of the 20th Century.
On Labor Day, BYU takes on Navy in what should be an entertaining watch. The toughness of the military teams is always evident. The Midshipmen will have their toughness challenged, given BYU always fields one of the oldest rosters in college football.
The weekend of Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 has three of the nation’s top teams playing. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish host the Duke Blue Devils and Clemson travels to Wake Forest. The outcomes are predictable but checking out the Irish and Dabo’s Tigers should interest Alabama football fans. Another top team plays that Saturday. The Oklahoma Sooners host Missouri State. The hefty PPV price to see the Sooners run up 60-80 points may not interest any SEC fans.
Depending on individual interests and preferences, there are other worthwhile games during the ‘Interval.’ All of them are opening acts for the SEC ‘Big Show’ on Sept. 26. On that date, six of the seven SEC games will be available through traditional cable. It will be a viewing feast.
It may not be for everyone, but some of us will enjoy the Mississippi State at LSU lead-in before the Alabama Crimson Tide takes on Missouri. Bo Pelini and Ed Orgeron trying to match wits with Mike Leach should be fun. A few months ago, we labeled Pelini a retread. Leach just might expose him.