Monday, January 7, 2013

Final Thoughts on the NCAA FB Season (The Alabama Dynasty and Beyond)

Alabama keeps on proving everybody wrong every year. A year I thought they wouldn't get close to the national championship and they're partying in Miami.

AJ McCarron proved he's a much better quarterback than I thought. Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon proved they were worthy followups to Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Amari Cooper might be the next great Alabama WR as the Miami-born freshman capped his fine year with 2 TD's Monday.

But what does it all really say? It just reaffirms that Nick Saban is as great a college coach as anybody right now or within the last 15 years. Pete Carroll? Urban Meyer? Jim Tressel? Combined, they have as many national titles as Saban. But it's not just about winning, although DragonflyJonez made this great point.

Year in, year out, Saban has his teams prepared to win. They're a model of excellence and as the names change, the record stays the same. The best college teams don't just win, they intimidate you the minute they step on the field. They impress you for 60 minutes and make you feel like your best isn't good enough. And the rare occasion it is, you know you earned it.

It's the same I noticed watching USC last decade. I'm sure older folks will agree that Nebraska had it in the 90's just like I know Miami did in the 80's and any other great dynasty. Teams that are just so dominant they win the minute they step off the bus. And as much credit as I tried to give Notre Dame coming in, Alabama took that cornbread and gave the Irish that work until the game was over.

Three titles in four years? All the credit goes to that program, that coach and how they produce every single year since Saban took over. They shut out LSU last year and destroyed the nation's best defense this year. What more can they say except "We're the Best!"

I haven't said a lot about Johnny Manziel this year but now that we've seen more of him and I've finally watched a full game of him. I can say the kid is the truth. A good player who's shiftier than I thought and can throw a good ball. He reminds me of Eric Crouch, not Tim Tebow.

He earned the Heisman this year. He beat the National Champs in their house. But I didn't like all the mythmaking thrown his way. It seemed like they wanted to make him the next great White hope they loved with superlatives like gritty, winner and the like.

But lately, all that disdain I had is going out the window. The dude's Twitter account is showing himself to be a dude who knows how to enjoy himself. Basically, he's a 19-year-old kid being in college and I love seeing the myth crash down. Flashing money in a casino? Calling out the haters?

Not to mention he put up yards on Oklahoma. He singlehandedly almost made OU look silly and prove that Bob Stoops is a far cry from the coach he was a decade ago.

I like the edge in him. He'll no doubt mature a bit but right now, I'm reveling in seeing him shock the folks who tried to make him this wholesome Johnny Football kid.

Oh and before we crown him as the best freshman ever, I'd like to remind you of Adrian Peterson and Michael Vick. Vick was an electrifying redshirt freshmen who led his team one quarter away from a national title. AD was a true freshman who destroyed the Big 12, finished 2nd in Heisman and helped his team to the title game.

The numbers are impressive on Manziel but I have him behind or near Vick, AD, De'Anthony Thomas and Sammy Watkins on my list of most impressive freshmen I've seen. Look forward to his encore next year.

Finally, this GIF doesn't get old. Here is your preseason pick for the player to watch next season. The FREAK! The GROWN MAN! The VIOLENT FORCE OF NATURE WHO NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION. JADEVEON CLOWNEY!

1 comment:

  1. As a Michigan fan I can say it...that GIF gets old. LOL. Nice piece and you'll get to see Johnny Football next year as I'm sure ESPN will find a way to put him in primetime a time or two next year. He's the best freshman I've seen personally. As for Alabama, like you retweeted, only Cam Newton could stop them from doing it 4 years in a row. Funny thing is, that '10 team, the team that lost 3 games, had the most talent. 22 current or future NFLer's. And that was there problem AJ McCarron said. Too many people worrying about their draft stock. I say Bama's the favorite again and AJ gets some love in the Heisman next season.