A message to recruits

Here’s Coach Saban’s message to all those high school football players who have scholarship offers from the University of Alabama:

12231627-mmmainHere’s your choice:

You can either come and help us win another National Championship or sit home and watch us win another one without you.

That clear?

Simple.

Neat.

Uncomplicated.

Roll Tide.

Hardware

Ok, here ya go y’all. All in one place (the only things lacking are those absolutely bee-utiful crystal balls).

capture-0

National Championship: Alabama 45, Clemson 40

If you had told us that Clemson was going to score 40 points and have over 500 yards total offense, we would have been convinced that Clemson would win the game.

And we would have been wrong.

Such is college football.

Everyone was expecting a low-scoring, defensive battle and instead, we had what looked like a replay of one of those old Holiday Bowls between BYU and San Diego State. Whoa.

We were wishing and hoping for a nice, boring National Championship – you know, the kind where you have a fairly close first quarter but then you can relax with a 15 point lead at halftime and cruise to a 24 point victory, but No. Nothing of the sort was going to happen on Monday night in Glendale, Arizona. Every time you thought the Tide was safely in front, back came those horribly UGLY orange uniforms to score and make the game close again.

Every time you thought things were under control, Deshaun Watson would make another perfect throw or make a seemingly impossible escape from being sacked to gain 15 yards. Misery. He had us on the edge of that vast chasm of Loser Canyon, staring down into the gloom and despair below more than once. The Tigers completely refused to allow us to relax. They were inconsiderate and insensitive – and, if it hadn’t been for three or four great plays by Bama, they would be the National Champs instead of the Tide.

The first big play came with 11:55 left in the first half. The Tigers had just responded to a 50-yard TD run by El Tractorcito by scoring 14 unanswered points to take a 14-7 lead. And they were hot. It looked like Watson was not only going to have a great game, but have one of those Johnny Manziel “I’m-playing-the-greatest-game-in-the-history-of-college-football” games. The Tide defense was tired, confused, and frustrated. But then Watson went back to a “wheel route” that had been successful earlier and Eddie Jackson intercepted the ball on the Clemson 42 – and from there Alabama proceeded to tie the game 14-14 on a 1-yard D. Henry run.

The second huge play came after Alabama had lost another 7 point lead and had come back to tie the game at 24 all. The Tide was kicking off and an amazing thing happened – Coach Vanilla (the so-called “boringest coach” in college football) ordered an onside kick . . . and it was recovered (actually caught in the air) by Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey at midfield. From there, on a second and 13, Coker found O.J. Howard wide open for a 51-yard TD putting the Tide ahead once and for all. It was what they call a “Turning Point.”

The third extremely large play came after Clemson had cut the lead to 4 points (31-27) when Kenyon Drake took the ensuing kickoff and sprinted 95 yards for another touchdown, giving the Tide an 11-point lead – the first two-score lead of the game. And, it proved to be vital as Clemson scored again a little over two minutes later, to cut the lead to 5.

Then came the fourth gigantic play of the night. The Champs had a second and 12 at their own 23 with 4:00 left. Clemson had what the announcers call, momentum. The Tide D had not been able to stop them all night and it looked as though they were going to get the ball back in time to make one final drive for the victory. It looked that way that is, until Jake Coker hit O.J. Howard again on what was basically a lateral that O.J. turned into a 65-yard run (to the Clemson 13) – from whence the Champs scored their final (and, as it turned out) also necessary touchdown with a little more than a minute to go in the game. So that when Clemson again scored a minute later, the Tide still clung to a 5-point lead and only had to recover an onside kick to secure the victory.

And finally the game was over.

And Alabama had won its twelfth game in a row, its fourth National Championship in seven years and its sixteenth over all.

Take a deep breath, y’all.

What just happened here is remarkable.

And, in case your wondering how to spell it, yes, there is a “y” in Dynasty.

So, in the end, after all the worry and fretting, after all the cries of dismay and a few moments of sheer terror, it all worked out for the best. Indeed, it was beautiful, delightful. marvelous, stupendous, yea, even Monstrous Fine. And we feel privileged to have gotten to share it with y’all.

Now it’s time to celebrate the fact that the College Football World is back to normal again. The Universe is balanced once more. The Stars are aligned properly. So. It’s time for y’all to get one of them Family Paks of Extra-Crispy Chicken (with a side of fried okra and tater salad) and enjoy the blessing of hot grease without worrying about the cholesterol! The Tide are once again the reigning National Champs. Huzzzah!

And, from all of us here at the IFHQ* we say one last time as we close out this super-fabulicious season:

Roll Tide, y’all!

 

[*The International Fan Headquarters]

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Sixteen . . . and counting

CFP championship game prediction

Well, here we are – just where we wanted to be back in August – playing for the 16th National Championship, against the Tigers of Clemson. It just keeps on getting better and better don’t it?

If you’re an Alabama fan, you really need to take some time to appreciate what this team has accomplished: Winning the 9th straight game against the Clementines; winning the fifth in a row against LSU; winning another western division title; winning another SEC championship; earning another trip to the College Football Playoffs (with a semi-final victory of Mitcheegan State); and now having an opportunity to win a 4th Natty in 6 years. Son, that is Alabama football. And let’s not forget to be happy regardless of the outcome on Monday night.

The victory over the Spartans earned the Tide the right to face a very good, Dabo Swinney-led, UNDEFEATED Clemson team – who just finished stealing the canvas top and taking the wheels off that ridiculous Sooner “wagon” they drive around the football field like maniacs. So, thank you Dabo-cats, for sparing us from having to watch that silly spectacle.

This ought to be a close game. Deshaun Watson is exactly the style of quarterback that has given the Tide fits in the past. His ability to run and pass is frightening. The stats confirm our fears: the Tigers are ranked 6th in the nation in total offense. And the Tiger defense ain’t all that bad either (ranked 13th overall in the nation; 12th in passing and 32nd in rushing).

In spite of that, we give the Champs the edge on defense – though, admittedly, that edge could be slight depending upon how well they are able to bottle up Watson – but Clemson has a clear advantage on offense.

Once again we can expect the Tigers to try to stop El Tractorcito by stacking the box – and if that happens, once again, we will depend on Jake the Snake to have another solid game passing the ball to Ridley and Stewart.

The Tide has to focus upon containing Watson – not allowing him to break big plays by scrambling outside the pocket. Here again, tackling, defensive backfield play, and not giving up easy points are all going to be critical.

So, what’s gone happen?

It’s really simple, y’all.

This Tide team is the most focused team in memory. They seem to be determined not to slack off until #16 is securely in the record books. And we are convinced that this is exactly what’s going to happen Monday night. Expect the defense to play well – nobody shuts down Watson, but he’ll face the most harassment he’s seen in a while. And if the D can bottle up the Tiger running game, it’ll be more than even Deshaun will be able to overcome.

And, with solid defensive play, we think the Champs’ offense continues to do enough to win the game (expect to see a bigger contribution from D. Henry) – and so, as Monday evening comes to a close, everbody will be able to rest easy, knowing that once more the College Football World has been set upright and put back to normal again, with the Tide as National Champs.

So y’all gechoo something that’s fit to eat and drink and reserve yore most comfortable chair – and get ready to cheer for the good guys – cause we’re coming to Arizona to take home another trophy!

RTR!

 

“That was child abuse!”

Here’s an even better recap of Thursday night’s semi-final from a faithful LSU fan.

Top notch, buddy, top notch.

Alabama 38, Michigan State 0

Ok, this is how a national semi-final game should go. Get out front, stay out front, keep adding on, and finishing. This is what we’ve looked for all year and it looks like this team is ready to bring it in the Second Annual CFP.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tide got moving with a long pass from Coker to Mr. Ridley to the Spartan one yard-line (from which El Tractorcito took it in). The half ended with the Champs leading by 10 but it was pretty clear that unless they went into full “Ole Miss” mode, 10 points was probably going to be enough. And that was because the Defense was playing some ball y’all.

Once again the D led the way. Stone wall. Frustrating opposing offenses, sending them off the field befuddled by the coverage and pressure; dooming them to depression, tempting them to enroll in counseling to raise their self-esteem. They were so stifling that Billy Graham would have been move to cuss if he had been the offensive coordinator.

The Spartan defense was faced with an unsolvable problem: i.e., commit to stop the run and allow the possibility of Coker completing passes to Ridley and Stewart; OR give the corners help in the defensive backfield and allow the possibility of El Tractorcito plowing you up for 200 yards on the ground. Not a happy choice. They chose the latter and paid for it by allowing the former. Ridley showed his stuff (8 catches, 138 yards, 2 TDs). D. Henry got in the act with a classic stiff-arm which resulted in a TD. Cy Jones got a punt return (57 yards for a TD) and there was even an O.J. Howard sighting!

It was a wonderful and marvelous sight to behold (even Coach Saban got into the spirit).

But.

It ain’t over.

Not yet.

We can’t be satisfied with this one. There’s one more to go. Against Dabo’s boys. And it ain’t gonna be easy.

But we like it tough, right?

One more for number 16.

RTR.