The Alabama Effect on the Perception of Other Teams They Play
By: Larry Burton
You hear it wherever go, whatever sports network or publication you read and that is Alabama’s schedule isn’t tough and they don’t play anyone that’s any good.
Well contrary to that popular belief, when experts rated schedules at the first of the year, Alabama was said to have had one of the nation’s more difficult schedules. No leading expert picked Alabama’s schedule as anything outside on of the top 25 most difficult schedules, yet now it seems Alabama has had a cakewalk to the championship series.
The reason for that perception is very simple. When Alabama plays any team and especially every team they’ve played so far, they’ve simply made them look like a pushover because this is an Alabama team like no other in the Nick Saban era. This Alabama team is simply so overwhelming, such an offensive machine that piles up so many points so quickly on every team they play that the perception is that every team they’ve played is weak.
Instead, perhaps folks should stop looking at the teams Alabama are playing and look at Alabama and simply come to the realization that it’s not that these teams aren’t good, it’s that Alabama is simply that great.
Take Texas A&M for example. After eight weeks into the season, they are a very solid top 20 team without question. They almost beat Clemson, an almost sure college football playoff team, in a close 26-28 loss. Their only other loss was of course to Alabama, who simply steam rolled them as they have every other team. That 45-23 win in national perception did less to make Alabama look like a monster than it did to make people question how good A&M really was.
This Saturday, Alabama plays number four LSU and you can count of hearing more folks that will question just how good LSU really is rather than how powerful Alabama is should they steamroll the Tigers of LSU.
And therein lies the false perception of what’s really plagued Alabama all season long. To put it another way, it’s not that the dams that tried to stop the surging waters were weak, it was that this Tide was simply so overwhelming, the dams just never had a chance.
The almost 39 points Alabama averages in just the first half of all their games is more points than 116 of the 130 teams in division one football score in four quarters. This is simply an Alabama team that is just overwhelming! It’s not that Alabama isn’t playing anyone good, the problem is that Alabama just makes them look that way.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter