We are nearing the close of football season.
Is it time to hibernate yet? No!
On January 14, The Atlantic deemed the Atlanta Falcons as “the NFL’s new ‘Team of Destiny'”. They won a thrilling game against Seattle before losing a heartbreaker to San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.
As the Associated Press put it, “The season ended 10 yards shy of the Super Bowl, a stunning finale for a team that seemed poised to bring home the first championship in the franchise’s 47-year history.”
The Tennessee Titans finished 6-10 on the season and were eliminated from postseason contention in Week 14, so the hopes of the Southland rode on those dirty birds.
There aren’t any pro teams in Alabama… unless you count the Crimson Tide.
In late 2012, two Southeastern Conference teams in our coverage area, Alabama and Georgia, were locked in a battle that would ultimately decide the BCS National Championship. Notre Dame? Did they even show up for the big game? I can’t remember.
That Alabama-Georgia battle was far more interesting than Bama-Notre Dame. And I can’t help but think that there were a lot of Bulldog fans sad that the only thing keeping them from the big game was an expiring game clock as the Tide prevailed 32-28. And to think, just a couple of years ago, a lot of UGA folks wanted Mark Richt ousted for going 6-7.
That’s not to take anything away from Bama, which claimed its 15th national championship — and its third in just four years! That’s what you call old-fashion domination. It’s probably just a matter of time before the rest of college football finds a way to bring Bama down to its level. Maybe those basketball schools will just throw up their hands and concede forevermore.
After so many coaching vacancies opened up in the NFL, the folks in Tuscaloosa are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief that Nick Saban is apparently staying put. Compounding their joy is the fact that this football season was nothing short of disastrous for Alabama’s two greatest rivals, the Tennessee Vols and the Auburn Tigers.
We don’t cope very well with failure in the SEC, so Tennessee’s Derek Dooley was fired Nov. 18 (the Vols finished 5-7) and a 3-9 record in 2012 doomed Auburn’s Gene Chizik despite the Tigers winning the national championship just two years ago. Fans aren’t too thrilled to witness the worst season in 60 years at the same time their hated cross-state rival is at the mountaintop.
It will be interesting to see what Butch Jones (formerly of Cincinnati) and Gus Malzahn (AU’s offensive coordinator from 2009-2011) can do at Tennessee and Auburn, respectively.
I can’t forget to mention that the Vanderbilt Commodores finished their season a respectable 9-4 (5-3 in the SEC) under second year coach James Franklin. The Dores also won the Music City Bowl versus N.C. State 38-24.