Alabama's setback to South Carolina dropped them to #8 in recent polls.
Now, before I begin my article I would like to state that I am writing from strictly fact and my only opinion will be the one stated in the title. I am not writing this article from the standpoint of an Alabama fan, but from that of a poll voter.
Now, let's begin by saying, "Man, it's been a while since I have written, and boy am I glad to be back." No excuse for not writing any articles lately; well besides laziness I guess.
Now that I am back I would like to write about a story that shocked the college football world during Week 6. Not only did the No. 1 team go down, but they went down in a fashion not one of the players, fans or coaches even imagined possible. The game did not come down to the final possession, nor did it come down to the fourth quarter. This game was a win for South Carolina from the time Steve Spurrier and his Gamecocks stepped in to Williams-Brice Stadium.
After such a huge loss for the Tide, you would expect that they drop out of the Top 10 no doubt. Unless you are an Alabama fan, you really didn't see why in fact the Tide should NOT have dropped from the Top Five, and here is why.
The Alabama Crimson Tide had, in my opinion, the toughest schedule throughout the course of Week 4 through Week 6. They where scheduled to play the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Arkansas for their first of three straight ranked SEC opponents. The Tide went into Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium to face off against their toughest opponent yet, at that point in the season, and won in a close battle, but the weeks to come would only get tougher for the top-ranked Tide.
After a near disaster in Arkansas, the Tide traveled back home to Tuscaloosa to face off against rival Florida in an SEC championship rematch. The unbeaten, and seventh-ranked Gators were planning to hand the reigning No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide their first loss of the season, but it would not be as the Tide rolled over Florida in a 31-6 trampling. No time to celebrate for Nick Saban and Alabama, the next week will be just as tough.
And then came the Gamecocks. Ranked 19th and once beaten, South Caroline was confident that they could be the team to knock off the top-ranked Tide. That confidence helped Carolina pull off a thrilling, but dominant win over Alabama.
Now this is where my story begins. When South Carolina beat Alabama, did the Gamecocks have more of an advantage over the Tide? I'm not saying it was unfair because South Carolina won fair and square no doubt, but just how much did it take to beat Alabama?
The week prior to the big game, South Carolina had a bye week. With this, South Carolina had two whole weeks to prepare compared to Alabama's four days. You ask, "Four days?" You never thought about Alabama having to make the trip all the way to Columbia, South Carolina. This took away that Friday afternoon of full practice from the Tide. While Alabama's players and coaches were on a plane headed to Columbia, Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks where in full pads preparing for their arrival.
Another advantage, as I have already stated, is that the game was in South Carolina. This is one of the loudest fanbases in the entire country, and if you don't think the fans would show up to see South Carolina attempt to obtain the biggest win is school history, think again. The stadium excelled its maximum capacity, and was filled to about 106 percent of the normal capacity. A bigger and louder crowd is never a bad thing.
Alabama was already worn out from the first two smashmouth games of the three-game series of top SEC teams. South Carolina's health was not to Alabama's advantage.
With these thoughts, maybe now you understand that Alabama should not have dropped from the Top Five. My Top Five after Week 6 was:
No. 1: Ohio State
No. 2: Oregon
No. 3: Boise State
No. 4: Alabama
No. 5: Nebraska
Is this not a reasonable poll? How can everyone say Alabama is the "best team in the country" one week, then turn around and say they aren't even a top-five team after one loss? If my memory serves me right, LSU lost to Arkansas in 2007 and dropped from No. 1 to No. 3, then bumped up to No. 2 after beating Tennessee in the SEC championship. They were a two-loss team and were still considered the best in the nation, and proved it in the national championship against the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes of Ohio State.
The fact is that Alabama is a one-loss team now, but honestly I can't name seven teams that are better. I can honestly only name one and that is South Carolina. Perhaps it was a fluke. Perhaps South Carolina is the best team in the SEC, and the nation. Whatever happens at the end of the season, the one thing on every Alabama fans' wish list is a rematch against South Carolina in the SEC championship.
Thank you for reading my article, you guys. Roll Tide