For years, after any big Alabama win headlines across the nation would proclaim, “Bama is Back!” What we never learned was, ‘Bama is back to what?
Time and again, the answer was always, ‘Bama is “back” to the same old mediocrity. For every big win that brought out the headlines proclaiming its return to glory, Alabama has consistently found a way to simply disappoint the fans.
Perhaps that’s why this year has seen so much pessimism from a certain segment of the Crimson Nation. Though they may claim to be simply taking Nick Saban's advice, it's more likely that memories of past disappointments are the real reason that some fans always proclaim that the wins don’t mean anything yet.
Indeed, even while Alabama fans watched as number one Texas fell to number eight Texas Tech, virtually ensuring that Alabama would find itself sitting atop the college football universe for the first time since the end of the 1992 season, there were some Tide fans who were quick to point out that the polls were meaningless.
Those fans are wrong. The polls mean at least one thing: “‘Bama is back” is no longer an empty platitude.
Sure, there are other reasons for Alabama fans to be glad to be sitting on top of the polls. For one thing, no matter what insanity overtakes the voters, there’s virtually no way that #1 doesn’t play for the title if they go undefeated.
But even more important is what the ranking means for the Tide as a program.
With three SEC games and a likely berth in the SEC Championship still ahead of them, Alabama's chances at a title this year are still far from decided.
But for now, ‘Bama is, finally, truly, “back.” Back to where Tide fans have wanted the team to be ever since ‘Bama strolled proudly off the field at the Superdome after the ’92 Sugar Bowl: ‘Bama is finally back on top.