By: Dan Hancock (@danhancock1978)
The great thing about a bye week for your team is that you get to get caught up in other games around the college football world. This weekend, there is no bigger game than Alabama-Texas A&M. Ever since last season's Aggie upset of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, this rematch had the makings of an epic grudge match. All things being equal, this would be a game of X's and O's and who is the best of the West. Then July of 2013 happened.
One, Johnny Manziel went from unknown to Johnny Football in a matter of minutes last season. In about as much time, Johnny Football became Johnny Paycheck. Instead of taking his ball and shovin' it, Manziel has spent the summer in more tabloids than stat mags. All of the high praise has seemed to move towards rabid criticism of his character. Many, who once were his biggest cheerleader, will become another in a sea of hecklers and nay'sayers. Now that he has reached the mountain top, people are quick to push him off the edge. He was a feel-good story that became tainted by a number of knuckle-headed blunders in the past few months.
Possibly only the A&M faithful will cheer him on from here on out. Possibly...
When you play Alabama, you play Nick Saban. If ever there was a guy people rooted against, it was Nick Saban. So what will people do tomorrow at 3:30? Will people look for the young gun slinger to knock off the reigning king of the SEC or will people look to the Grumpy One to put little Johnny Football on his knee and teach him a lesson the old fashioned way. The one thing you don't do to Nick Saban is beat him. Sure, he can be beat, but somehow, he always finds an opportunity to get a rematch and stomp an elephant-sized mud hole in your program's backside.
Saturday, September 14, will feel like early December when the SEC's two best teams meet in Atlanta and battle for ultimate conference glory. Fans from the other twelve schools are forced to pick a side and do their best to root them on. Usually, conference division of your school dictates one's allegiance. Being that both are in the SEC West, how will tomorrow play out?
Fan opinion may be the most accurate stat in all of football analytics. I'm curious to see how that plays out and really looking forward to the Battle of College Station. Hopefully, it will be a catalyst for more exciting story lines down the road this football season. Enjoy it. It goes fast! Week 3 is days away from being in the books.
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