Allow me to start this article, by referencing a past article, in which I proclaimed that Utah leaped to far into the polls. This was well before they defeated TCU and BYU to which I said would give them a shred of credibility.
Utah did go undefeated in the regular season, and capped it all off with a 31-17 thrashing of my Alabama Crimson Tide. In doing so Utah accomplished the needed feat to earn my respect.
During the debates with various Ute faithful I stated that if Utah beat an Oklahoma, a Florida, a Penn State, or an Alabama, they would have my respect, now I understand that the Ute Nation hasn't been holding their breath waiting for my acceptance of them, but as I sit at my hotel room, after attending the Sugar Bowl I feel that I owe this to the Utes, their team, their school, and their fans.
So without further adue...
There are 1,001 reasons... er excuses, we Bama fans can give for our embarrassing loss to Utah. We could whine and cry about the loss of starting left tackle Andre Smith, we could blame the disheartening loss to Florida, Urban Meyer's phone calls to Coach Whittingham, or the fact that we had about 17 freshman starters.
The argument that we lost because we were without Andre Smith is perhaps the worst of the list. Any Alabama fan who uses that excuse, admits that in their feeble mind, one single player controlled the destiny of our team, that we were not a team, but rather Andre's back up crew. However I understand that his absence left people playing foreign positions, created frustration, and left us with little time for preparation.
The excuse that the loss to Florida killed our momentum is just as weak as the before mentioned excuse. A fan using this said excuse believes that his teams whole season is the result of the previous game, this reasoning would stand to reason that if you win your first game, you should win them all, or if you lose game one you lose them all, or else the whole season is simply a by product of lucky breaks. This would mean our team was one mistake away from a 5 game slide, and a bad record, or that if we lose one game we can't rebound.
I won't waste time addressing the final two rumors, they are equally boorish, and uncouth, and reflect ill upon the fans using them, and the team.
If you were to ask me why we lost, I would say that all of those excuses are the answer, and yet none of them are. All of these excuses may have played a part, yet none of them should. A great team finds a way to win, despite the odds.
A truly great team doesn't worry about past losses, a great team doesn't fall apart without one player, a great team doesn't need 4 years experience at every position. Maybe... just maybe Alabama wasn't great, they were good, damn good, but not great. And if in fact those excuses did play a part than the team, has nobody to blame for themselves.
Bottom line, Utah wanted the win more, they played harder, they ran faster, jumped higher and hit harder. To have been such an underdog, Utah clearly looked to be the better team. To them I say congrats... we may have been better on paper, in just about every stat except the win loss column, but yall were better where it counted, on the field.
You deserved to win. Congratulations, your fans were polite, and pleasant, I personally would love to see Utah on Bama's schedule more often than in just a bowl game. I think the games would be good close games, hopefully closer than this one.
Roll Tide Roll! We will egt 'em next year Bama, keep your spirits up and your heads held high, and Utah, heck of a game, best of luck in the future, maybe someday soon we could meet yall in the championship game, I would like that.