Thursday, November 17, 2011

Race for the Championship - What If?

While living in the South I've learned a few things about the culture and way of life here in Alabama and surrounding Southern states. The biggest lesson I've learned is that football isn't just a sport, it's a second religion, to most residence maybe even a first, but don't tell Jesus that. Men and women, children and even pets get in on the action. Our dog, June sports her Alabama houndstooth collar and bandana every Saturday while Mike and I sport our Team colors in one fashion or another on Friday for work and for game day on Saturday. Like I said, it's a religion/way of life.

This time of year becomes the most exciting. We are down to 3 or less games per team in the division and the stakes are high. Highest currently for teams like Alabama and LSU. LSU is undefeated and they are looking sharp, and I'm really sad we weren't able to take them in our house two weeks ago. "Our House" meaning Tuscaloosa, I don't live in the stadium, but you know what I mean, right? This time of year is exciting because EVERY team that is in the top of there division is in the hung not only for Bowl games but more importantly Division Championship runs AND most importantly National Championship runs.

This years National Championship is being played in New Orleans. Talk about one hell of an electric town to have something like this go down, especially if there is an SEC team involved - even more so if that team is LSU. Can you imagine the buzz going down on Bourbon Street if this happens? And I'm not talking about the buzz from the frozen drinks as large as your head either.

I'm still a bit bitter that we lost to LSU, and I'd love a rematch! And apparently 2 SEC teams have never gone head to head at the National Championships so it would be even more exciting!

My husband, Mike and I have had a pact since the beginning of the season. When we learned the Championship game would be held in New Orleans we said come hell or high water... bad choice of words, Sorry New Orleans, we love you! We would make it to NOLA for the game if Alabama made it to the National Championship game. His younger brother was in for the trip as well. Now granted, hotels are booked, and over the top expensive and this would probably require us to not only sleep in our Jeep but also forego showers but we don't care. It's Alabama football, its 48 hours and there are frozen drinks to be had and fun to be made. Win or lose we would be there for the night. And no we won't be purchasing tickets to the game but instead watching them from the comfort of a bar stool somewhere in the French Quarter.

Our hopes were extremely high at the beginning of the season. The boys looked great, and still do... well minus our kicker that seems to be having some issues and a few other moments here and there but for the most part we still have a winning team with a great looking defense. LSU just really let us have it for sure. I felt like we may not have showed up as well as we could have but that being said I don't play football, I can't play and I have no right to tell those boys how to do it better. That's Saban's job.

In the past weeks there has been a lot of buzz about who might go to the National Championships - of course everyone here is now hoping for a rematch with LSU vs. AL. And I would be happy about that for sure, but I'm still hanging on to a hope that Oklahoma State University and Alabama might reach New Orleans together for match up. My feeling in this is a little selfish. Mike's sister is OSU alumni and made the comment she would definitely try to make it to the game from Colorado if her beloved Cowboys made it to the big dance. SO you see Mike + Me + His Sister + His Brother = ONE HELL OF A GREAT TIME!!!

The buzz around here is there everyone has started with the "WHAT IF'S" and "ALL WE NEED IS" and "IF THEY LOSE THEN THIS HAPPENS" going on around here. Every morning while at work I hear this from my co-workers talking football around the coffee maker. When I get home, or on the weekends I hear the same from Mike. And while watching Game Day on Saturday morning I hear it a lot too. Mike and I also have taken to watching ESPN in the morning while getting ready for work too [always loved sports, but never thought I'd be that girl]. Little by little I hear more and more about the what ifs...

I wanted to share a typical exchange of how this all goes down, written by my husband for those of you SEC outsiders that may or may not do this in your divisions when it gets down to the boiling point for the end of the season.

So here goes, predictions/what ifs/maybes/only if this/then it will happen: By Mike!
[my comments in pink]

"Here’s what can happen. The most likely conclusion is LSU vs Okie State in the National Championship Game. But, if Okie State loses any of its final games, then Bama could move up to its spot to face LSU, which would be not only the first time that two teams from the same conference would face each other in the National Championship Game, but also from the same division. The coolness factor of the rematch? LSU beat Bama in over-time by three points in Tuscaloosa. The rematch would happen in New Orleans. [Home field advantage is sometimes scary for the opposing team! YIKES! Super Dome Crowd mostly for LSU, that's some scurry shit!] LSU still has to play a very good Arkansas team [Hogs are my 2nd favorite in the SEC division]. So, if Arkansas beats LSU, then we have a three way tie for SEC West Division Champs. So, who would go to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game? Alabama. They would be higher in the BCS rankings. If they make it through Georgia Southern and Auburn.

So, then Alabama goes on to the SEC Champ game, beats Georgia. Then, who do they face in the National Championship Game? If Okie State holds on, and doesn’t lose, then it would be them. If they were to lose, I would suspect Bama would play Oregon, [UGH, SO. OVER. THE DUCKS!] or Oklahoma. Which is funny, because both of those teams were projected early on to play each other in the National. Champ. Game.

Personally, I’m hoping on Bama and Okie State. Bama’s smothering defense vs Okie State’s high octane offense." [I'm hoping for the same, and speaking of Octane... I'll drink a 190 Octane from Fat Tuesday's to that!].

So you see folks, this is what I hear day in and day out around here.... You know I'm a happy camper regardless of who makes it to the National Championships so long as it's ALABAMA! But I will have to wait and see, continue listening to the "IF WE DO THIS'S" and hope for the best! For now we have Georgia Southern to work on and then the game of all games every year is the IRON BOWL when we take on our biggest rivals, the Tigers of Auburn University. We have big fish to fry before we can make it anywhere near New Orleans or Atlanta.