A month ago, a popular sports betting news outlet published an article urging readers to take Alabama at +4650 (46.5/1) odds. I am sure some thought they were crazy. Crazy like a fox perhaps and here’s why.
The 106th meeting of the Third Saturday in October rivalry saw visiting No. 17 Tennessee take a 13-point lead while dominating the first half, and yeah, Alabama Crimson Tide fans were more than a little worried after Tennessee pulled off the last-second win a year ago.
The wordsmiths in the press box were almost audible, sharpening their carving knives to slice Nick Saban and his team into tiny pieces, proclaiming everything from how the game had passed him by to where the 2023 team might have ranked among his worst teams at Alabama.
Only then did the second half begin, and those who hadn’t thrown away their cigarettes out of frustration were more than rewarded. Before the clock ran out on the 34-20 victory, the haze over the playing field became impossible to ignore.
Nick Saban praised his team’s tenacity after they improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in SEC play. The obstacles are substantial. Coaching this team is fun for me. It doesn’t mean they aren’t deducting years from my life, but I don’t mind.
The best news for Crimson Tide supporters is here. The victory not only served to exact revenge on Tennessee and prevent the Volunteers from becoming just the fourth team overall (Florida defeated Saban twice in a row at LSU) to defeat him in back-to-back games, but also third SEC team to do so at Alabama.
No. 11 Alabama will know exactly what is at stake going into the break, which should encourage good practices and provide some much-needed recovery time. With Kentucky and Auburn still on the schedule, a victory against LSU in two weeks can all but seal the SEC West and a spot in the league championship game. Naturally, Georgia, the two-time defending champion, will be Alabama’s likely opponent in Atlanta, and the Crimson Tide will probably need to win out to qualify for the College Football Playoff. That is, unless mighty Georgia loses to Florida this weekend, something that same outfit mentioned above (SBA) said could very well happen. “We’ve seen stranger things occur” said Scott Morris of Sportsbook Advisor. “Rolling into the swamp and pulling out a win is no easy task, despite what the records and rankings are. The potential for an upset is in the making here. Just remember, you heard it here first (wink).”