As a sports fan, I completely understand a man’s almost impulsive defense of his team. We develop a myriad of excuses build around a very simple concept: The shifting of blame. Crimson Tide fans, myself included, felt just such an impulse around 7PM on Saturday.
Alabama hosted Texas A&M as arguably the nation’s best team. Sure there were those touting Oregon and K-State as contenders, but I think we all felt those teams were a step behind Bama. They have it all, right? The country’s best defense, a mistake free quarterback and an offensive line ready to start for the Chiefs next week.
All of those statements were, and still are, true. But there’s something all SEC fans should know from experience. When you line up in the SEC, even as the nation’s best squad, there’s always a chance you’ll leave with a loss. This can be said for any SEC conference game, but rings especially true in the case of a very talented A&M team.
Texas A&M played about as well as any team could be expected to play under the circumstances. Johnny Manziel showed up and hung 345 yards and two TDs on Alabama – in Tuscaloosa. I’ll say that again – in Tuscaloosa. Do I need to mention a national title shot was on the line? All things considered, this performance was other worldly. Oh yeah, their defense played big as well. This was a perfect storm of incredibly well coached, well practiced kids playing for pride and acceptance. Acceptance granted.
That isn’t to say there wasn’t some Crimson Tide blame to go around. Poor play calling and a costly fumble resulted in a hill too high for McCarron to climb, but that’s the SEC.
As fans we love to collectively enjoy the SEC’s dominance. But in being dominant we have to accept the reality of a loss on any given Saturday. And when you spot a good team 20 points in the first, you should expect to lose.