Fair weather fans show their colors

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 28, 2002

I guess that old saying is true after all.

A blind pig really can find a nut every now and then. The University of Alabama was defeated Saturday in the annual Iron Bowl rivalry by a score of 17-7. It marks only the second time in eight tries a Tommy Tuberville coached team has been able to beat the Crimson Tide.

Virtually every newspaper, talk show host, TV commentator and so called handicapping &uot;expert&uot; predicted the Tide to win. That’s a sure fire sign that things aren’t going to go as predicted.

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Interesting-ly enough, the same Auburn fans who were saying last week how bad they were going to get trashed by Bama are saying this week they knew the Tiger’s had it all along. It must be great to be a fair weather fan.

I wish I could say that Alabama was beat by bad calls by the officials or some other bad breaks in the game.

Unfortunately that’s not the case. Alabama was beaten in every aspect of the game.

Offensively, defensively and in the kicking game.

Auburn jumped out to a 17-0 half-time lead.

This was primarily due to their tight ends.

Evidently the Alabama staff did not recognize the tight and was eligible to catch passes, because they never covered him.

Offensively, Alabama was out of sync.

They only ran the &uot;smoke draw&uot; once. Their game plan appeared to call for a lot of option plays and running wide. Auburn’s defense was too fast to have any success at that. After falling behind they began passing primarily. That is not Tyler Watts’ strong suit.

The defense gave Alabama a chance to win in the second half.

They shut out the Tigers and set up Bama’s only touchdown with an interception by DB Waine Bacon in the third quater.

Ultimately, Alabama’s offense failed to capitalize on several opportunities to score.

Auburn won the game fair and square. That means good and bad news for the Auburn faithful. The good news is they have bragging rights for the next year. The bad news is that Tuberville will be around for his fifth rebuilding year in a row. That position down at Mac’s will have to wait. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want him to go anywhere. I hope he’s at Auburn for a long, long time.

In my opinion, Tubby and AU are a perfect fit. He’s a coach who’s good for about eight wins a year.

He’s coaching at a school that expects about eight wins a year. It’s a match made in heaven.

Tuberville made a very telling comment after the game. He said &uot;We won our championship, we won the Iron Bowl.&uot; In one sentence he encapsulated the difference between Auburn and Alabama.

Alabama plays to compete nationally. Auburn plays to compete with Alabama.

Let’s not forget that Alabama is still the best in the SEC West. They should be in Atlanta playing for their league leading 25th SEC Championship and a major bowl. Instead they will be licking their wounds from the Iron Bowl under a palm tree in Hawaii.

Alabama will play the Rainbow Warriors in a game that was scheduled to reward the players for their hard work this season. Despite knowing there was no chance of an SEC championship or a bowl game end of the season, this team played tough all year. They played for their school and for pride.

A lesser program would have folded a long time ago.

Alabama has a chance to go 10-3 after playing one of the toughest schedules in the country. Every Crimson Tide fan should be proud of their team for overcoming the adversity that they faced this season.