You remember the Bruce Springsteen hit, Glory Days? I imagine if you scoured the front porches of residents across the great state of Alabama, you could find thousands of loyal Tide and Tiger fans who could tell you stories of their favorite Iron Bowl memories. Their eyes would light up and their voice would raise an octave or two as they began telling of the glory days of one of college football's biggest rivalries.
How could they not get excited at the opportunity to brag on their team's greatest Iron Bowl moments? It seems like more often than not when Alabama and Auburn play, it carries major implications for both teams.
So humor me, let us do a little recent reminiscing about some of the glory days from games gone by.
It seems like just yesterday Cam Newton was leading the 2010 Tigers to a thrilling second half comeback win in Tuscaloosa to propel Auburn to an eventual national championship.
And who could forget last year’s Alabama team that needed the win over an 8 win reigning national champion Auburn team to secure their own spot in the SEC title game to play for a shot at a national championship appearance.
You are all decked out with your new Ohio State Jacket and hat. Then a Michigan fan walks by with that big cocky smile, boasting about Michigan’s win in “The Game” last year. You think about how on earth this person could be fooled into being a Michigan fan. So you start to think of things to tell him, just to give him a friendly reminder of why your precious Buckeyes should be the ones with the cocky attitudes. From the perspective of a biased Ohio State fan, Denard Robinson would be considered worse than Braxton Miller. (B. Miller: 56.8% Completion, 14 TD Passing 6 INT; 1214 yards rushing with 13 TDs. D. Robinson: 53.6% Completion, 9 TD Passing 9 INT; 1044 yards rushing with 6 TDs this season.) You tell the Michigan fan this and he has a lot to say back to you.
He says that even though Denard Robinson hasn’t lived up to his Heisman potential this year, he has made a great impact at Michigan. He retaliates, “Miller can’t throw the ball!”
You look at him with curiousity on why he would think such a thing. You try to come up with a comeback. “Oh yah? Well….. umm… Denard Robinson sucks!” Then it hits you. He doesn’t suck.
There is usually a lot on the line when LSU and Arkansas meet up on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The battle for the Golden Boot typically carries major post season ramifications. National title hopes have been shattered and bowl bids have been gained or bettered in this border state rivalry.
This year, however, carries a little different meaning for both teams.
With apologies to Notre Dame and its faithful followers, especially those who believe a bias exists against their beloved Irish, the reality heading into Week 13 of the college football season is that the top-ranked team in the nation’s game at four-loss Southern California isn’t all that enticing in the grand scheme of things.
At best, that contest ranks – at best – seventh on the “must see” list, considering five other matchups pit ranked squads against one another and unbeaten, but BCS-banned Ohio State takes on No. 19 Michigan.
Now, if the Irish should lose to the Trojans, that’s another story … to pick up on later.
For now, though, we look at the true No. 1 storyline entering the weekend, and while it isn’t crystal clear to most, it should be. Treated like the little brothers in the backyard trying to hang with the cool teenagers when it came to respect and rankings, Florida State and Clemson get cracks to show they belong, facing in-state “big brothers” Florida and South Carolina.
He’s not going to win the Heisman. Let’s get that out in the open right from the get-go.
Playing for an unranked, underachieving team that has gone south faster than “snow birds” trek to Florida the first sign of sub-50 temps in their native Northeast abode, Marqise Lee has that inoperable obstacle in his path to college football’s highest individual honor as is.
In a true testament to irony, the Southern California receiver/return man has become the marquee attraction to one of the nation’s most recognized programs and that connection only serves to hurt – heck, kill – his chances.
The video-game numbers Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel puts up every week in proving the Aggies-will-bomb doomsayers wrong during an initial foray into SEC play hasn’t helped, either. Nor has skill and leadership displayed by Braxton Miller and Manti Te’o in spearheading unbeaten seasons at Ohio State and Notre Dame, either.
But, push comes to shove, do you really want to argue who the best player in the sport happens to be?
Biases, allegiances and affiliations aside, anyone would be hard pressed to trump a case for Lee holding that title.