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Why I roll with the Tide?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

The 2007 season passed, and I was still without a true college football team that I followed. Mizzou’s star players were moving on, even though they beat Arkansas in the cotton bowl at the end of the season. In Darren McFadden’s last college game as a Razorback, I still wasn’t sold.

The air raid offenses were taking over college football at that time, and I had a thirst for the old school ground and pound game that put an emphasis on defense and running the football. If you followed football in the state of Missouri, you knew that Mizzou wasn’t the school you went to if you were a running back, mainly due to the tigers not being a running team. This was even more magnified when Mizzou joined the SEC in 2011, a move that I still don’t agree with to this day. In comes Nick Saban in 2007.

I didn’t take notice to what Saban did when he initially got hired in '07. In '08, however, he woke a lot of college football fans up, including myself. He flipped the program around. The Tide did a complete 180 as they now had the resources, the players, and, most importantly, they stayed true to playing that smash mouth SEC football.

Alabama put an emphasis on running the ball on offense and hitting opponents in the mouth on defense. They had notable wins that season against Clemson, LSU, Arkansas and Georgia during the regular season and even made it to the SEC title game, where they would eventually lose to Florida in one of the best SEC title games I had ever seen since becoming a college football fan.

That 2008 Florida team, led by QB Tim Tebow, head coach Urban Meyer, and LB Brandon Spikes, is easily one of the best college football teams of all time. I can’t take anything from the Tide though. Saban's Alabama team had an underdog presence during that first season. Although they lost the title game, I knew they weren’t done.

Greg McCelroy along with that 2008 recruiting class that consisted of RB Mark Ingram, WR Julio Jones, Center Barrett Jones, LB Don’t’a Hightower, DL Marcell Dareus, and Safety Mark Barron were set to return the next season (2009) with something to prove: winning it all in Nick Saban’s third year and starting a dynasty.

Even though they lost their bowl game to Utah at the end of the 2008 season, I was sold. From that moment on, Alabama was my new favorite college football team.

Roll Tide Roll!



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