Would you believe it? Christmas only days away? If you are like me, the biggest worry you have is not what you will receive on the big day, but how you are going to take care of loved ones around you. As I sit here pondering, I must say that SEC football has given me (and hopefully you too) an early Christmas gift of breath-taking, edge-of-your-seat entertainment- and that has come from the leaders of the class, the Tide and the Tigers.
Who'da thunk it? Alabama & Auburn finishing the regular season 11-1, the Tigers ranked 2nd in the BCS poll and the Tide 3rd. Certainly if you are a Bama fan you wanted more, but from one who really doesn't have a dog in the hunt (I like to see both teams do well as to better insure my employment), you have to admit it's been one of the most memorable seasons in college football.
Hey Bama fan, think of the great gift you have received! Jolly old St Nick will be sticking around awhile, and while you lost the Iron Bowl, your team is always going to be in the hunt for national titles as long as Saban stays put. And did I see the tough guy melt the other night when talking about rocking his newborn baby grand daughter? Never thought I'd be able to conjure up that visual. Your program is as healthy as ever and your talent pool is deep, as Saban reels in 5-star athletes like Kevin Van Dam reels in largemouth. Sure your team lost to Auburn, but give the Tigers some credit. You may not be able to say it, so I will: Those Auburn Tigers are really good. Your team had thrilling wins over Texas A&M and LSU, and you witnessed perhaps the most successful senior class in UA history do their thing. Cherish the season and 3 of the last 4 BCS titles.
Hey Auburn fan, did you really predict in August that your team would be playing for a championship? If you did give me call- I need to take you to Las Vegas. What your Tigers have done is impressive, inspiring, breath-taking. Your Tigers have rolled up over 850 yards of offense over the last two games against the top two defenses in the SEC (Alabama & Mizzou). You witnessed The Prayer In Jordan-Hare (Ricardo Louis) and The Return To Glory (Chris Davis). You have seen success and spirit return to AU, and you are a win away from winning it all. Top it all off with a raise for your head coach and the return of most of your players in 2014, and you are looking good!
Fans of the Tide & the Tigers have already received their Christmas gifts. While the Tiger faithful want that one more gift come January 6th, and Tide fans would like to finish strong against Oklahoma, it's been an unforgettable season. And just a thought: If the Tigers beat FSU and the Tide beats OU, we could have a 1-2 Auburn-Alabama finish in the final BCS poll ever. 13-1 and 12-1- pretty strong. And the pre-season poll come August of 2014? Expect the Tide & the Tigers (or the Tigers & the Tide depending on your favorite team) to start the season very highly ranked.
I hope you get a chance to chill a bit during Christmas week. Then join us as Scott Griffin will report from New Orleans while yours truly, John Hardison, Kevin Scarbinsky and others will report from Pasadena.
Five straight national championships coming from teams from our state? I say bring it on, and I say my Christmas gift- sensational football played by the Tide & the Tigers- has already been delivered. Merry Christmas to you and your family.