For years, Alabama fans have had the expectation that a win against most every team on the schedule was a given. And it didn’t matter what year and it didn’t matter who was the coach. We just expect to win.
Unfortunately, our expectations weren’t always met and, in several stretches of time, we would actually find a way to struggle mightily with lesser teams and sometimes even lose. For example, we’d head into games like today’s, expect a big win and then wind up playing a really close game or actually finding a way to lose.
If there’s one thing that has happened in the Nick Saban era at Alabama, it has been doing away with that sort of play. In his first year we struggled a bit record-wise and in 2009 and 2009 we sometimes didn’t play hard for a full 60 minutes, but, for the most part, since then, we’ve dominated the teams we’re supposed to dominate. That’s what makes me feel fine about tonight’s game at Starkville. Sure, there are some comparisons to 1980, but those were different times. Accidents can still happen, but in 1980, Coach Bryant’s time at Alabama was drawing to a close and sometimes cracks could be seen in the program.
Saban circa 2013 is still getting after it. I think there’s a lot of football left to be played and a lot to play for this year. I think Alabama will be ready tonight. I think State will show a lot of emotion and try to start the game with a bang, but assuming we don’t turn the ball over frequently, ‘Bama has more talent and more depth and should be comfortably ahead by games end.