Alabama Football’s win over Georgia in the SEC Championship will be lauded for decades. Many compelling stories will come out of the 41-24 Crimson Tide victory. Without needing a reminder from Nick Saban, Tide fans should acknowledge winning an SEC Championship is a big deal. Alabama Football won its 29th SEC crown on Saturday. Eight other SEC teams are far behind that championship count, along with eight other current and former SEC teams that have never won an SEC football crown.
That short walk through SEC championship history will be overshadowed by other stories coming from the Tide’s big win over Georgia. Nationally, almost every pundit picked Georgia. Mark May and Lee Corso were exceptions. Though no one will own up to it now, more than a few Crimson Tide fans also expected a Georgia victory.
Alabama Football SEC Championship Not a Shock
The truth is no one should be shocked by the Tide win. The winning margin was somewhat surprising but not so much to be tabbed a shock. The Crimson Tide, under Nick Saban, does not lose as an underdog – at least not since the 2008 season. Betting on the Crimson Tide when it faces a No. 1 ranked team is also a sound decision. With the win over Georgia, Alabama Football is now 10-5 against No. 1 ranked teams.
What was legitimately shocking was the Crimson Tide offense putting up 34 points on Kirby Smart’s defense. The Dawgs’ defense has been college football’s beast all season. Bryce Young and his offensive teammates carved Georgia apart.
Young passed for 421 yards and ran for forty yards more. As we previously published, the Tide needed Bryce’s best and he delivered. The sophomore was sensational and cemented a Heisman Award. What cannot be understated is the performance of the Crimson Tide in pass protection. The Bulldogs recorded eight quarterback hurries – but, zero sacks. Saban said his offensive line had been challenged during the week, with a demand to be more physical. Elaborating about the big guys up front, Saban said,
"I still think that it (the Tide’s offensive success) started up front. [Georgia’s] front has been so dominant in terms of pressuring people, kind of taking them out of their game. You could never, ever really get the ball out very successfully on a very consistent basis, which is a tribute to them, their scheme, their players are very good. It still goes back to the offensive line did a very, very good job"
The story Georgia fans will face in dismay is Kirby Smart now being 0-4 against Nick Saban. A postscript to that story is, there was nothing in the game to indicate the Crimson Tide can’t beat the Bulldogs again. Georgia fans are left to hope John Metchie, as Nick Saban indicated in the post-game, will not be available in a rematch.
The most outstanding quote of Nick Saban’s post-game remarks was simple, but so telling. As tweeted by David Cobb of CBS, Saban said,
"Everybody wanted to gain a little respect, and I think maybe we did."
Let’s ponder on that statement for a moment. The defending National Champion bought into being a disrespected team after an 11-1 regular season. Not many coaches could orchestrate such an underdog attitude as dd Saban.
It’s now a 2-game season for the Crimson Tide. You’ve got to like the chances.