Where's the love for Alabama?


Published: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:47 p.m.

Team A is unbeaten.

Team B is not.

Team A is ranked No. 1 in the country.

Team B is not.

So what in the heck is going on with all the love for Team B?

Team B is Florida. Not the pre-Ole Miss Florida but the Florida that has won by an average margin of 38.4 points since then.

That's why for the last three weeks all of the talking heads and Internet scribes and ink-stained wretches have been making predictions long before they were necessary.

They weren't penciling Florida into the BCS National Championship Game, they were rubber-stamping the Gators in.

Meanwhile, here's Team A sitting in Tuscaloosa wondering how it dipped so far below the radar because it just kept winning.

You have to believe it's motivation for the Tide.

"I guess you could say that," Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson said. "But it's not something we've thought about. Predictions don't have any bearing on the outcome of the game."

Hmmm. I seem to remember a couple of years ago out in the desert, there was a certain team from a certain city which used the fact that everybody was picking the other team as a huge motivation for days.

You know, Team B.

"I'm sure Alabama is going to use a lot of things as motivation," Tim Tebow said, "as we will."

Maybe the opening line, for example.

Team B is favored by 9 1/2 points.

"They've been doing a good job of scoring points," Alabama safety Rashad Johnson said. "But it's been that way all season. If one guy doesn't say we should be No. 1 it's motivation."

Except it's not one guy. It's a lot of guys. And some girls.

And don't for a second think Alabama isn't using every Web site, every newspaper column and every point in the point spread for motivation. They may be saying it's no big deal, but behind closed doors I'm betting they are bouncing off the walls.

For the last few weeks, it has been Florida this and Florida that. Alabama has been an afterthought.

On the Saturday that Florida embarrassed Vanderbilt's defense, Alabama needed overtime to beat an LSU team Florida handled by 30. While Florida was handing Steve Spurrier the worst loss of his career, Alabama was struggling for a half against lowly Mississippi State.

Florida scored 70 the next week. Team A was off.

And on Rivalry Saturday, both teams rolled but the attention still went to Florida because of Tebow's amazing night and face paint.

Alabama must feel like an ex-girlfriend.

"Hey, you used to think I was the cute one. Did I grow a third eye?"

Certainly, Alabama must feel like a team of destiny. The Tide has managed the season beautifully, manhandling Clemson to start the season and burying Georgia as well. Back then, everyone was in love with Nick Saban's team. But then the new girl walked in with her sexy statistics.

Yeah, we'll keep you at No. 1, the pollsters said, for now.

"It doesn't matter," Saban said. "Florida has played well. They've been a dominant team and they certainly deserve all the accolades."

Meanwhile, all his team has done is NOT LOSE A GAME!

Usually, that means something. Every other BCS team has lost at least once. In fact, all of the attention has been on the one-loss teams instead of the lone unbeaten. Kind of like being at a party and everyone wants to talk to Justin Timberlake while Paul McCartney stands alone in the corner.

" I think we have enough motivation in terms of the opportunity we have and what's out there for our team," Saban said.

You know, Team A.

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