For only the fourth time in their history, my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide will meet the Ohio State Buckeyes on the gridiron. Bama defeated the Buckeyes 35-6 in the 1978 Sugar Bowl, 16-10 in the 1986 Kickoff Classic and 24-17 in the 1995 Florida Citrus Bowl.
Tonight, from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, college football history will be made in the very first College Football Playoff.
Following the defeat of Ole Miss by the TCU Horned Frogs, the controversy of Ohio State’s playing in the semi-finals was resurrected. The Horned Frogs Coach Patterson said after the game, “I don’t think I have to say anything.” Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze said, “They rightfully deserved to be in it with the others. They could compete with any of those, no question in my mind.”
Of course, the flap is over whether Ohio State deserved to be ranked fourth ahead of TCU in the College Football Playoffs. College football fans railed for years against the BCS Championship system and now that it’s been replaced, they’re still unhappy.
Alabama is making its 62nd bowl appearance. That’s more than any other university. Ohio State is making its 44th bowl appearance. The Buckeyes are 19-24 in bowl games.
I make no secret of my unwavering loyalty to The Tide. I’ve been rooting for Bama since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Every game is steeped in revered tradition and the ghost of the legendary Coach Bear Bryant. God how I loved that man.
One sportswriter said it best, “For these two teams, the precious moment will come when the ball is first held aloft in the heavy Louisiana air of the Superdome, the hallowed ground of past conquests for both teams.” He continues, “When Alabama and Ohio State take the field, both will be embarking on a brave new world of college football, one where each team's traditional clout will carry little weight. The flesh of history will be cleft away from each team, leaving only the bare bones of that which makes the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes elite.”
Some irrational Neanderthal chewing gum like a cow chews its cud uploaded a profanity-laced tirade in which he referred to Alabama as “Slopabama” and promised that Coach Urban Meyer would bully The Tide’s head coach Nick Saban. Of course, what he’s referring to is Meyer’s two resignations, once in 2009 after Bama trounced the Gators 32-13, and again in 2010 when Florida was defeated 31-6.
Whether or not Nick Saban makes Urban Meyer cry again, the Crimson Tide is going for its fourth national championship in six seasons, a stunning run of dominance in what is supposed to be an era of increased parity. Parity…that’s what everybody wanted, right?
ROLL TIDE ROLL
And because no football post would be complete without some pom-poms, take a gander at these lovelies from the Alabama cheer squad.