Every week I find myself defending Alabama football. In fact, there are so many people who don't really understand how good Alabama is. To the uneducated eye, they are just a team that gets the best recruits and they just turn them loose and they win games. However to the well educated eye, you can see that they have talent, but there is a lot of coaching going on down in Tuscaloosa.
Like him or not, Nick Saban is a master coach and recruiter. He doesn't settle for his top notch guys to come in and under achieve. There aren't too many Alabama players who don't live up to the billing once they get to Tuscaloosa. Other programs have guys who never seem to live up to the hype. Sure it can be from lots of things, but for the most part they aren't being pushed or the coach can't push their buttons.
One of the things that successful programs have is depth. Depth will keep you from slacking because on any given day your job can be taken from you. CEO's of companies don't like to miss many days because they know that the person who is waiting can run the company just as good as them. They know that if they give them enough chances, people will notice that too and they will be replaced.
Alabama benefits from that type of depth. As soon as a guy graduates or leaves to go to the NFL, the next guy steps in and they don't seem to miss a beat. Their team is built around two concepts.
1. We won't be out hit
2. We won't be out hustled
If you live by that motto, then you have a recipe for success. As a former college coach, I learned a lot about winning and what it takes. There aren't a lot of guys who leave it all on the field every day when they are preparing for a big game. In fact some guys are their own worst enemy because they don't understand how to be great.
Being good at what you do requires you to be disciplined. You have to take the game seriously both physically and mentally. Mental reps are just as important as physical ones. When you aren't in the game or practice, you should be paying attention as if your livelyhood depends on it. Every advantage you can get matters. When you watch Alabama play you see that. You never see a lack of focus and they just believe they aren't supposed to lose.
Alabama has built a program for success and it's biggest test may be looming this week. If you think about it, the only school in the SEC with as much talent or maybe even more than Alabama is LSU. The only problem is LSU doesn't have the discipline that Alabama has and it shows up on the field when times get tough.
I was once told by a coach that if I can't trust you to do things right when I am not around, how can I expect you to do the right things when things get tough on third down. When LSU figures that part out, they will have all that it takes to be as consisitently dominant as they should be.
Alabama may not win it all this year, but they will always be a threat as long as Saban is at the controls. He gets it and that's why they seem to keep winning.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!