Alabama football fans expected a big win in Baton Rouge. How the Tide won and the lessons learned were somewhat of a surprise.
After some somber (and sober) reflection of the ‘Beatdown on the Bayou,’ we think Alabama football fans learned a few things. We learned about the Crimson Tide and the Bengal Tigers and maybe even a bit about how the CFB world becomes confused. Nothing we learned would enlighten any Alabama football coach. But a little added insight might make the rest of us a tad smarter.
If the paragraph above failed to offer sufficient clues, please consider what follows as a serious exchange of ideas, tempered by a sense of humor.
It should not have come as a surprise – but, fearsome Tiger Stadium is not so unfriendly to opposing teams when the Bengal Tigers cannot block a defensive line. Win the line of scrimmage and win the game. Alabama football won it on both sides of the ball, causing Death Valley to be doom for LSU.
Five things learned (or remembered)
No. 1 – Never trust the (place)kicking game
Alabama football is in serious trouble if it needs a field goal or an extra point to win a game. Whether it is the snap, the hold, or the kick – something will go wrong when the Crimson Tide most needs it to go right.
No. 2 – The Tide can survive with average punting
Going forward (except for maybe The Citadel) opponents will have a punting advantage. Fortunately, Mike Bernier is competent enough for the Tide to survive. If he was going to choke and shank a punt, it would have been in Tiger Stadium.
No 3 – The Alabama football offensive line is better with Deonte Brown
Brown is an upgrade in run-blocking. A bigger sample is needed to determine his consistency in pass protection. Unless he falters in pass-pro, pairing him with Jonah Williams creates a more physically dominant left side.
No. 4 – LSU was not the third best team in CFB
LSU was overrated due to national confusion about what constitutes a very good team. The win over Miami was too highly valued. Beating Auburn is no big deal. The Georgia game was misleading because of four Bulldogs’ turnovers.
After Saturday, here is what LSU really is: No. 91 in Sacks Allowed; No. 87 in Tackles for a Loss; No. 83 in Scoring Offense; No. 87 in Rushing yards-per-carry. The Bama beatdown brought those stats down, but after eight games, the stats were already poor. For example, LSU was No. 68 in Rushing ypc. before Saturday night.
LSU was probably a Top 10 team, who looked better before Saturday because too many other Top 10 teams are not very good.
No. 5 – Nick Saban does not always call off the dogs in a mismatch
Nick Saban does not choose to run up scores. He is especially concerned about embarrassing coaching friends, often his former assistants. Such a charitable response does not extend to LSU, Auburn or Georgia. If it ever did, it no longer does. Nick wanted the Saturday night shutout for the impact it would (and will) have on recruiting.
That’s what we think was learned by Alabama football fans from a glorious night in Baton Rouge. We’re ready for some more November learning – and December – and January.
Add to our list of lessons learned, Crimson Tide fans. Send us your thought in the comments section below.