Cocktails, Cajuns, and The Homecoming Queen: Road To an Alabama Championship

Patrick DavisContributor IOctober 27, 2008

The Alabama Crimson Tide is in Miami and the 2008 BCS Title Game is about to kick off.  Only problem, a few things have to happen to get us there.  Let's back up a few weeks.

The SEC Championship Game

The question: Which SEC East team will be inside the Georgia Dome on the 6th of December? 

The game that has been referred to as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" very well could determine the East and with LSU losing their 2nd game of the season it is Alabama who looks to be the team who could greet the captains of Georgia/Florida at the 50 yard line in Atlanta.

Both Florida and Georgia are 1 loss teams.  Both enjoyed recently hanging 50+ on the current National Champions.  Both have Quarterbacks that will be early first round picks in the NFL draft.  And both seem to be getting better as the season goes on.

If Alabama is going to have any hopes of a National Championship than they will have to be undefeated.  If they have any hopes of being undefeated than they will have to be the best team in the SEC. 

If they have any hopes of being the best in the SEC they will have to beat, for the 2nd time this season, a Georgia team that has something to prove to the state of Alabama or the reining Heisman winner who has led a Florida team to outscore their last 3 opponents 152 - 33.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I.  I can't be thinking about the SEC championship.  That's months away, let's back up a few more weeks.

Nov. 8 at LSU  Baton Rouge, La.

The Tigers enjoy a couple of subtleties in life:  Championships, Cajun food, and an unquenchable revenge for a coach that left their program 4 years ago.

You would think that a National Championship would quench whatever hard feelings one might have towards a coach who left for the NFL.  You would think that thoughts of past championship winning coaches would disappear when your current coach goes out and wins you another one. 

If you wear purple, you think a bit differently then most.

LSU started the year off on the wrong foot as their starting quarterback, Ryan Perrilloux, was kicked off the team.  With two conference losses it doesn't look like they will be given the opportunity to repeat their hopes for back to back championships.

What they can do on the other hand, is ruin Nick Saban's chances.  With a hotshot coach in Les Miles and a team that seems to follow in his footsteps, that might just be good enough.  Nonetheless, if Alabama is going to get to continue their run for the 2008 National Championship they're going to have to dismantle the high octane defense of LSU and leave Baton Rouge 10-0.

But I'm breaking Coach Saban's rules again, aren't I.  We don't play LSU for another 2 weeks.  This week we play the Red Wolves of Arkansas State.  That's right, it's Homecoming week in Tuscaloosa.

Homecoming game:  Arkansas State University

But surely we couldn't lose to this team, right?  Alabama's National Championship hopes couldn't dance on the string held by a 3 loss Sun Belt team.  Could it?

As an Alabama fan, you might be familiar with the Sun Belt Conference.  They are the conference that houses the team that you have undoubtedly been given more grief over than  a 6 year drought in the Iron bowl. 


A dismayed Alabama team was beaten 21-14 by the War Hawks a year ago.  The Red Wolves are much better than Louisiana-Monroe.  They are tied for 1st in the Sun Belt and have an opportunity this week to make a name for themselves the way their conference rival did. 

If Alabama is going to dream of playing for a National Championship they are going to have to walk away with victories from all of these things.

They are going to have to win the SEC. 

They are going to have to get there by finishing the season as strong as they started

They are going to have to beat LSU, Miss. State, Auburn, and force themselves to not play down to a team like Arkansas State, something they can certainly be accused of doing.

Alabama has given themselves an opportunity that nobody thought they could accomplish, at least not for another year.  Even today, as #2 in the country, ESPN talks about #1 and #3.  Nick Saban doesn't care and he says you shouldn't either.

Because the night of December 6th, if Alabama is 13-0, there isn't a thing that anybody can do about it.  The Tide would be heading to Miami, probably an underdog, just as they were in 1992. 

When nobody in America gave the Tide a chance, they decided the best thing they could do to shut the mouths of their critics was to not lose a single game and show America that if ESPN was a college football team, Alabama would schedule them for their homecoming game.