I know what you're thinking. AFTER the game it's easy to say "I called that one!". And "Yeah, yeah, Jan, you're a huge Bama fan so of course you have to say that". And yes, I am very much a Tide fan - from birth. I watched the game yesterday with much screaming and jumping, and all sorts of other craziness. But it wasn't just blind adoration and family tradition that made me say I thought this was Bama's year. Here's why I thought Bama would win....and Florida would not.
1) Florida simply did not have the team they did last year. We played so many of the same teams and Florida never really looked to be decisively better in those contests. It was obvious to me that they weren't playing with the same talent as last year.
2) There was alot of pressure on this Florida team. You heard their players mention again and again how they were feeling the pressure. This wasn't a good kind of pressure, but an unrealistically high expectation that I felt sure they would crack under. Their press was better than their reality.
3) Same thing for Tebow. I think he's a great guy, a wonderful athlete, a quality person. But the press built him up to the point that ANY mistake was unacceptable. Listening to sportscasters you'd think he was a miracle worker of Biblical proportions. I actually felt sorry for him. I can't imagine how it would feel to be so highly touted - there was nowhere to go but down, even if it was just a little. Again, who can live up to the expectation of being perfect? No one that is human can do so.
4) Alabama thrives as the underdog. When the whole world was picking Florida to win, I thought "Go ahead. It will just inspire our team more." Remember the National Championship Game in '92? The only sportscaster I remember picking Bama was Craig James and he was laughed at! Very few sports professionals chose Bama to win in this contest as well. Just like in the title game of '92 I think it inspired Bama to go out and give it more than their best. Add the terrible loss last year to the mix and I felt like Bama came into the game with nowhere to go but up. I believe - between two teams that are pretty equally talented - that it's an easier task emotionally and psychologically to upset than to defend.
5) I believe Nick Saban is the smarter coach. I know this is just my opinion but I thought coaching would play a big part in this game. I think his team was better prepared. And Nick doesn't have a record of losing to someone twice in a row!!!
6) I also felt that Bama was not given the respect they deserved all season. They had a fairly tough schedule in a very tough conference. I felt like they were capable of a win if they kept their head in the game. We have some incredible players that just really brought it home in yesterday's game. I think they proved they were better than many people thought.
I know I don't have any stats for you, and much of what I thought was based on instinct and gut reactions, but I'm thrilled that I was right and we did get the win. An SEC Championship and trip to the National Championship Game is certainly sweet. And whether or not you pull for the Tide, you'll have to admit it was an unbelievable game, a great day in College Football.
Come on Tide.....keep on Rollin'!