| FTBL Editorial: Personality plays LARGE role in UA vs AU


Personality to Play a Large Role in UA vs AU.

Editorial by TerryP

It’s a strange feeling making a statement that personality will be the defining factor in the annual match-up between Alabama and Auburn.

It’s often described as hatred.

It’s often described as the most intense rivalry in college football. While I believe this game ranks alongside the annual Michigan versus Ohio State game the thing that separates the two games is this is about two schools in the same state instead of two institutions within the same conference.

As fans of both schools talk about this game 365 days a year there isn’t a lot of talk right now about the match-up. Is it because there aren’t any ramifications on post season play weighing on whomever wins the game? Is it because the Alabama program has been mired in mediocrity for the last decade? Or, is it the fan bases have unconsciously started looking at the 2008 season?

If you look around both fan bases you’ll find some of the fans on both sides actually thinking alike. Auburn fans have been claiming all year that this game will make mark one more notch in Tuberville’s Alabama belt. Alabama fans, disappointed in the teams’ performances in some of the games this year have started thinking “we’ll lose yet one more game against Auburn.”

In the past, one could take the win and loss records of both schools and forget them. We’ve seen countless times, some even having national championship ramifications, the under-dog comes out with an improbable upset. We’ve seen teams that had no chance for a New Years day bowl game come out and look like world beaters.

What we haven’t seen, in terms of Alabama, is a question mark surrounding “Do they want to win this game?” What has been proven, is Auburn has been focused on this game and the coach on the sidelines since Jan. 04, 2007. There is no better proof than the sign hanging in their own locker room


Auburn fans are quick to point out (no offense to the LSU fans who harp on the same chord) that Tuberville has a winning record versus Saban. However, it’s rarely pointed out where those wins came versus LSU. In itself, that doesn’t bode well for this Saban led Alabama squad.

Normally, we as a fan base would have an idea where this team was as a group after the first few games of the season. Now, painfully clear, we find ourselves at the end of the 2007 with that question answered only after the last two games. We have a team that can’t handle winning (see UT) and can’t handle losing (see MSU.) Now, that statement doesn’t apply to everyone on the team. The important question is does it apply to “leaders” on this team?

I’ve used and read the word patience on more that one occasion. I’m still patient with “the process,” but I have to admit the word attrition is a word I look forward to thinking about.

There is a prevalent attitude with some of the members on this team which go directly against the actual meaning of the word team itself.

Let’s face it. We know where we need to be, and we know there are avenues to get there. Some of these roads involve players no longer being with the program. Some of these roads have to do with players buying into the “program” that has been set before them. The most heavily traveled road is going to be the players coming into the program.

But, let’s get back to the nagging question for which we simply don’t have an answer. What personality we’ll we see Saturday night?

I can only hope that the rivalry in itself will play a role in this weeks preparation, at least mentally. I can only hope that this team can mentally focus on the game at hand and that mentality is demonstrated during the preparation this week. Frankly, it’s only a hope that we finish this season with wins over our two biggest rivals; Tennessee and Auburn.

This is a gut check game. A game that will mean a great deal to the fans over the next year but a game that carries far more importance looking ahead. If that desire comes out as morbid as the desire seen over the past two weeks I might find myself alone, but you can be rest assured I’ll “finish” this season looking for attrition…if not in personality, in personnel.
Surfing around today I ran into one post about a pastor talking with one of the Auburn starters. I can't remember what they guys name was, but he was indicating that the Auburn team feels that Bama was holding back last weekend. They are expecting a dog fight Saturday night.

Lord knows, I hope he's right.
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