Alabama 31 - Georgia 0, halftime. Alabama 41 - Georgia 30, final score.
And from Pat Forde of ESPN.com
to Darren Epps of the Chattanooga Times Free Press
the case is being made for the Crimson Tide's inclusion in 2008 college football national title contention.
This perfect storm began Thursday night as Oregon State toppled the #1 USC Trojans. Then, in an early Saturday game, the #4 ranked Florida Gators flop around, allowing Ole Miss to stay in the game with them and inexplicably lose to the Rebels in front of their home crowd at Gainesville. This loss with the lesson of USC - Oregon State just two days prior.
With these two losses it became clearer to those who chose to look objectively that #3 Georgia vs. #8 Alabama Saturday night became a "gateway game" for Alabama's possible re-emergence onto the national scene.
And what a splash they made.
Georgia hyped the game into overdrive with their "blackout". ESPN's prime time Saturday night slot assured eyeballs to screen across the nation. If there's a dark side to any of this for this writer, it's that 40+ yr Georgia radio play-by-play man Larry Munson's first game to witness after retirement had to be this near-total emasculation by the Nick Saban coached Tide.
My God Almighty!
And Richt's "blackout" gimmick has only served to further burn the image of the no-nonsense strategy of Nick Saban on the national consciousness. If Saban had any tricks up his sleeve, he didn't play them Saturday night. With the exception of John Parker Wilson's laser accuracy, Alabama didn't do anything different than they did in smashing Clemson. Makes one wonder if Saban didn't sandbag Wilson. He never looked better.
In 1864, William Tecumseh Sherman marched through Georgia with his infamous scorched-earth campaign. Yet he left Atlanta with enough of a base to rebuild and didn't touch Savannah.
Nick Saban marched to Atlanta and dismantled #9 Clemson and with their loss to unranked Maryland Saturday, it's clear they haven't recovered. Tommy Bowden may finally be on his way out there. To make sure the job was done, Saban marched his Crimson troops back into enemy territory and under the cover of darkness (some call it blackout) sprung a surprise attack on Athens and left it in rubble.
And the devastation is complete. From Rome to Albany, there can now be no doubt. As the dust clears, it's obvious the state of Georgia is a college football smoking ruin.
But let's be clear about one thing. Last night was game five of a long regular season road. Nick Saban now faces the unenviable task of getting this extremely young team's feet back on the ground in time to face undefeated Kentucky in Tuscaloosa.
How tough can that be? Just ask Urban Meyer.
But for this day, the sun has a special warmth on this dog's ass.
ROLL CRIMSON TIDE ROLL!
(Update: In the intro to ESPN'S "Sports Reporters", Mitch (Ears) Albom said that "compared to the 700 billion dollar government bailout of Wall Street, the 32 million Alabama paid Nick Saban now looks like a bargain".
Don't be fooled by these carpetbaggers, friends. They now love us only for our ratings and ad money. They'll be the first to shovel dirt on us when the rainy days inevitably come. The road from raving introductions to parting shots is traveled in a "New York minute". RTR!)