Guerry Clegg commentary: Hey Ducks, Are you sure you want Bama?

October 26, 2013 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --

Just a friendly note to the good folks out in Oregon. You seem nice and all, and your football team is entertaining as can be. So, please take no offense at this, but just wondering …

Are you NUTS?

Have you been inhaling the down draft from Washington?

You've been cheering, "We want Bama! We want Bama!" You even made T-shirts.

Cute, but …

Really?

Ask Tennessee if you really want Bama. Just give the Volunteers a couple days to come to.

Tennessee coach Butch Jones tried to make a point to his players all week by referring to the Crimson Tide as "the red team."

Eh, not such a good idea. Alabama won 45-10, and was motivated in part by Jones' comments.

"For their head coach to come out and say we're just another team, I felt disrespected," said quarterback AJ McCarron. "We've won two national championships in a row and we're undefeated. So we're not just anybody. I felt disrespected. I took it personally. I wanted to come out and score as

many points as we could, and I didn't want to come out of the game."

So you might want to put those green and gold "We want Bama" shirts in a bonfire. And if your team should meet Alabama in Pasadena for the national championship and the photos start re-circulating on the internet, do as Auburn and Alabama do when there are allegations of cheating. Deny, deny, deny, and blame it on Oregon State or Washington. The ol' conspiracy defense.

Watch the tape of Saturday's game before you chant "we want Bama." Yeah, you know the Volunteers are not that strong, having beaten them soundly.

But that couldn't have been more impressive than this performance. It was over by halftime. The first quarter, really, when the Tide led 21-0.

The second quarter just drove the point home. Then the Tennessee band played "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" They might have been referring to their side of the scoreboard.

We're not sure if any of the Tennessee players' parents will file a bullying complaint against Bama coach Nick Saban.

Granted, Oregon fans, you have a fine football team. A truly great quarterback. A wickedly quick offense. And now a fine defense to complement that offense.

So, sure, you want to show the nation that you are more than the glitzy team with more outrageous outfits than Lady Gaga. Gotta beat the best to be the best.

I get all that.

But you don't understand. McCarron is right. Alabama isn't just anybody.

Ask Notre Dame. Alabama isn't even merely the best team in college football.

This Tide dynasty is becoming one of the best college football dynasties ever.

Yes, ever.

Forget what you may have seen in the first four games. Yeah, Johnny Manziel gave their defense fits in the second half. He has done that more than a few times. And the Tide offense struggled early, teetering between average and abysmal. Suddenly, those three All-America linemen -- all of whom are now in the NFL -- were fully appreciated. The Tide has been ranked No. 1 all season, but frankly didn't always play like it.

Well, that was then. This is … wow!

Here's a stat for you. Through the first two games of the season, Alabama had been outgained by 66 yards. Since then, the Tide has outgained their opponents by 1,521 yards.

The offensive line is starting to play smash-mouth football like we're accustomed to seeing from Alabama under Saban. Amari Cooper, maybe the most talented receiver in the SEC, is finally getting healthy.

The defense is every bit as dominant as the previous three that produced national championships in the last four years. Tennessee's field goal in the third quarter broke a stretch of 104 unanswered points for Bama dating back to the third quarter of the Ole Miss game.

But here's what is really scary about Alabama. Saban's teams get better week after week after week. It's the best coached program in college football. So as good as the Tide has looked the last two weeks in beating Arkansas and Tennessee 97-10 in consecutive weeks, they probably will get better. They have a week off to rehab some injuries. Then LSU comes to town. Then a road game at Mississippi State, a walk-through against Chattanooga and then the Iron Bowl against Auburn. While that's no longer the easy victory it appeared to be before the season, odds are Bama will run the table, then beat Missouri in the SEC championship game.

Then, the best head coach in college football at preparing for a big game will have a month to prepare for the national championship game.

So you really want Bama? So did Notre Dame.

-- Guerry Clegg is an independent correspondent. You can write to him at sports@ledger-enquirer.com

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