The SEC tilt between Alabama and Arkansas on Saturday was the first college game of the season that I paid any attention to. There are a number of reasons for this. As the years go by I find myself tuning into college football later and later in the year. The way it is set up with the big Conference Title games and everything else, you can tune in pretty late in the year and still be caught up to speed. The other reason I had for watching this particular game is that Big Dub reminded me of my only true gambling theory. I know I wrote a post eschewing the gambling theory and the idiots behind them, but this one has served me pretty well, and it only comes about every once in a while, so it’s not something you can use to pick games every week. I had practically forgotten about it to the point where I was expecting an Alabama blowout, but then Dub set me straight with my own thinking. Here’s the deal…
If a team is playing the biggest game in the history of their program at home, and they are getting points…you bet them every time. Take those points. The theory is so strong that the underdog on occasion can win this game OUTRIGHT! Well, talking about the theory got me excited about it again, and I wanted to see it put to the test on Saturday. In fact, I was convinced that this would be a game that Arkansas would win. Forget about the 6 to 8 points they were getting. Not necessary. So, I caught as much of the action as I could on Saturday and as the game clock wound down, it looked like everything might fall into place.
The atmosphere was everything I expected. Over the top Arkansas crowd, the Razorbacks scored that first quick TD on pure adrenaline. Their defense was playing over their heads for most of the day, and they had Alabama 0n the wrong end of the score almost all afternoon. Then Ryan Mallett the pick machine showed up. This guy made some nice throws, he’s got a big arm, but I didn’t like much of what I saw in the 4th quarter. He threw a couple of back-breaking interceptions, Alabama forged ahead and pushed their winning streak up a notch with another classic conference win. The only consolation was that Arkansas did cover that number, even if they didn’t win outright, so the theory can go on living in my mind.
What struck me with the game, in terms of the bigger picture, was that Alabama plays a heck of a schedule. I know the Penn State game wasn’t exactly a tough test at home, but it’s a far cry from playing a sub-division team or whatever they are called, and then the SEC schedule kicks in and they get Arkansas and Florida back-t0-back. That’s a handful, and when you factor in that Alabama probably gets everyone’s best game, it’s hard to believe they could put together two straight undefeated campaigns. Luckily for them, Florida isn’t the team they were last year, and they might already be past their toughest hurdle of the year in Arkansas.
What I know for sure is that if Alabama makes it through their schedule undefeated, it’ll be an accomplishment, and I’ll know they deserve a chance to play for the National title. I couldn’t say the same thing for Boise State. You can call that bias, or whatever you want, but the SEC destroys Boise’s conference on every level. I don’t need to see the teams play, or look at computer rankings, some things are just facts. So, I guess what I am saying is, in this non-playoff era, where we only hope to get the two best teams together at the end, it’s nice to know that the SEC champ will at least be deserving of the opportunity and battle tested.
PS, I know that Greg McElroy is a “winner,” but my goodness, if this team had a better QB just go ahead an cancel the season. They beat Arkansas by multiple TDs if he does anything more than “manage the game.”