Well folks, it’s here. New Mexico State’s date with Alabama is tomorrow. I will be watching but I am going into the game with the soul of a crushed man, for I know that defeat is certain. I only hope that they keep Alabama under 60.
So this week, instead of previewing Alabama (which you can do simply by watching ESPN) I decided to ask Alabama’s SB Nation writer Brent Taylor some questions on what it’s like to be a fan of a team with history that is the total opposite of NM State’s.
If you’d like to read the Aggie Q & A on Roll ‘Bama Roll, click here.
*Editor note: This writing is very pessimistic. I have become severely depressed thinking about the game this week.
Question 1: Why should the Aggie fans, or Alabama fans for that matter, care about this game?
Brent: I typically look at these kinds of games in the same light that I watch a spring scrimmage. The outcome is pretty much certain, so that means I can pick specific players I want to watch and focus on them the whole game.
So, if you’re really interested in, say, some new offensive lineman, you can just focus on them instead of having to watch the ball every play.
Question 2: Is there any weakness in this Alabama team? How do you exploit that weakness?
Brent: Going in to the opening game, Alabama had two true freshman at inside linebacker, and that was considered the biggest weakness. However, Duke absolutely shut down the Alabama run game, so now that’s being talked about as the biggest issue. The offensive line did a lot of shuffling this off-season and really struggled to block Duke on the inside and failed repeatedly in short-yardage.
Question 3: Do Alabama fans even get excited about the non-conference schedule? What is it like rooting for a team that is a title contender every year?
Brent: It can be tough to drum up interest in non-conference games against non P5 teams. And to complicate the matter, they always wind up scheduled mid-afternoon in September where it’s north of 100 degrees and sunny outside. So it’s no surprise when the fans flee the stadium as soon as the Tide puts their backups in the game. That said, there’s a big contingent of fans who absolutely love getting to see all the back-ups and freshman so we know what to talk about next off-season.
Don’t let anyone fool you though, it’s a whole lot of fun to be in title contention every season. A blowout win is a whole lot more fun than a blowout loss.
Question 4: How bad will Alabama win?
Brent: I don’t expect NM State to score. Duke managed a field goal, and that was only because Alabama fumbled on their own side of the field.
The spread is 55 points right now I think, and Nick Saban is notorious for just barely not covering the spread in games like this. So my official prediction is going to be 48-0.
There you have it folks. A sneak peak on what it’s like living in the “top 1%” of college football fandom. Now, enough of the snarkiness. Let’s hope the Aggies can get out of Tuscaloosa healthy and maybe even with a score.
Big thanks to Brent for answering my questions and reaching out to set this up. It’s nice to get a real Alabama perspective that’s not from the national outlets.