Takeaways from the SEC Championship game
Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021
1. When I think of the Alabama-Georgia game at this point in CFB history, I sometimes think of the final scene of Rocky III. They are the elite fighters in the arena and they know it. They circle around each other at the imaginary bell, admiring each other, even complimenting each other on their prowess and athleticism while bouncing around and adjusting their mouth pieces. But then it gets quiet and the talking stops. They finally prance still long enough to catch the other’s eye, square up the shoulders, get their feet set, and then simultaneously launch a massive haymaker at each other at the same time in the middle of the ring. Georgia hasn’t won a national championship since 1980 and has not beaten Alabama since 2007, so the rivalry, by definition, is struggling to maintain its luster. Nonetheless, they are the top two heavyweights in the SEC, which usually points to being elite nationwide.
2. Nick Saban is the GOAT, period…no comparisons make sense any more. His record speaks for itself, but what sets him apart from all other coaches, despite having the best 18-21 football players in the country, is his ability to prepare and “feed” his players mentally for big games. The way he used “rat poison” to motivate his team this week compared to humbling his previous teams in the past is simply genius. His quote this year on the rat poison this week from the media – on how the Tide had no chance against the magnificent Georgia defense – being “yummy” will go down as an epic Saban quote for years to come.
3. We all owe an apology to Alabama’s offensive and defensive coaching staff. They kind of remind me of my grades in college – mountains of ebbs and flows along with perceived neglect and assumed incompetence, but somehow I always did well enough on the final exam to save the final grade. That is what happened Saturday night for Alabama. It was almost like they did not study for the regular season games/exams and aced the final. More games to play, but redemption is an understatement right now.
4. The entire nation now understands the Bryce Young Factor for this Alabama team. He is the most impactful player of any Tide football team I can remember in the past decade. All other teams have had multiple impact players, but this year it can easily be said that Alabama depends on him to win games. He wins the Heisman this year and gives the Tide its first Heisman quarterback.
Chris Amos is a guest contributor to The Messenger and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.