The 2010 Alabama football team failed to live up to its full potential. Not that a nine-win season should always be considered disappointing, but this team could have been something much greater.
We saw what the Tide could do against Florida, Mississippi State, and the first half (cough) against Auburn. When fired up, 'Bama could beat anyone in the country.
In the Tide's first loss of the season to South Carolina, we had a sluggish start, and after South Carolina took advantage of this it was too late for the Tide to make a comeback.
It seemed nobody was giving 100% against LSU, where 'Bama's longest play went for 21 yards. It was overall a pathetic and heartless performance, and being pathetic and heartless can't win games in the SEC.
In the first half of the Iron Bowl, the Tide played with the energy that had been lacking all season. With the score 24-7 and the Tigers pounded, I said to myself at halftime, "We can't take our foot off the gas pedal and still win."
What happened in the second half will give Tide fans nightmares till next November. 'Bama came out flat, and Auburn bounced back to win the game 28-27.
Alabama now faces Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl. Many Alabama fans are calling this game meaningless. When I ask them why, the general response is that there's nothing left to play for. Apparently, if Alabama is not playing for a championship, then whatever bowl we land in is meaningless. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First and foremost, it is important to finish the season with a win. It affects the entire offseason attitude. Now some could argue the bitter taste from Alabama's loss to Utah in the Sugar Bowl in 2008 helped propel the team to the championship in 2009, but, in general, bowl losses are tough to get over.
Also, I think it is very important to send Greg McElroy and the other Tide seniors out with a win. The seniors on this team have worked too hard to lose their last game.
There is little doubt the Spartans will be ready for the game. They will bring in a tough and physical approach to the game similar to Alabama's. Will Alabama be ready? We won't know until the game starts.