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Sports Authority

Klonsinski: Did you expect anything different?

| Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I hate the media’s tendency to overreact.

Especially when it comes to college football. Take last weekend, for example.

Because I only write a Sports Authority column every other week, I missed my chance to tell you to bet everything you own plus whatever else you can sell, pawn, borrow or beg — even reverse-mortgage or just flat out sell your house — on Alabama going into its matchup with Georgia last weekend.

Why would I advise you to risk so much?

Because almost everyone overreacted after then-No. 2 Alabama’s 43-37 loss to then-No. 15 Ole Miss at home three weekends ago. Because for some reason the Nick Saban-coached team then dropped 10 spots in the polls.

Because for some reason, the oddsmakers made the Crimson Tide underdogs in their first big game since the loss.

The loss that sent Alabama plummeting wasn’t just any loss though. It was a home loss, pundits pointed out. Alabama just doesn’t lose at home. And that’s correct.

Alabama doesn’t embarrass itself at home on national television.

Alabama doesn’t let opposing offenses pass for 329 yards.

Alabama doesn’t allow 43 points.

Alabama doesn’t give up 24 points off turnovers.

Alabama doesn’t turn the ball over five times.

And finally, Alabama head coach Nick Saban doesn’t take kindly to anything mentioned above.

The Crimson Tide shouldn’t have even been in the game against the Rebels, let alone have the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to drive for the game-winning score — twice.

Yet somehow they were, which just speaks to how much of a fluke that game was. Alabama handed Ole Miss the victory. Four of the Rebels’ eight scoring drives — and three of their five touchdowns — came on drives starting inside Alabama’s 31-yard line. Long story short, the Rebels should have destroyed the Crimson Tide.

And yet Ole Miss didn’t. Alabama still had more than a small chance of winning that football game. So when the AP poll came out two weeks ago and dropped the Crimson Tide so fast it was as if anchors were tied around their feet; and when the same pollsters called in NASA to launch Ole Miss to the moon or even Mars, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Alabama, the 12th-best team in the country? Ole Miss the third?

Had everyone lost their minds?

After Alabama blew out UL-Monroe, 34-0, two weeks ago, I thought enough time had passed for emotions to blow over and reason to regain its grip on reality.

But no. Instead, the polls actually dropped Alabama another spot, to No. 13, and then proceeded to make matters worse by favoring No. 8 Georgia by 2.5 points.

Are you kidding me?

With no offense meant to UL-Monroe, Saban basically had two weeks to plan for the Bulldogs.

And by plan, I mean say a lot of words to his team I cannot repeat in print.

So when I found out the score was ‘only’ 31-3 in the third quarter, I was surprised — that Georgia had scored.

The over-under on the game was 55 points, and the only reason I would have been nervous about the teams eclipsing that mark was my uncertainty that Alabama would be able to score that many points on its own; the Bulldogs, I was convinced, weren’t even going to sniff midfield, let alone the end zone.

How did anyone really believe Alabama wasn’t going to come out frothing at the mouth and carrying a massive chip on its shoulder? Seriously, where have you been for the last, oh, decade?

Now, just days after claiming Alabama’s reign as one of the top teams in college football was over, everyone and their mother is praising the Crimson Tide as one of the best teams in country.

That, for once, isn’t an overreaction.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Zach Klonsinski

A History graduate, Zach spent all four of his years on campus as a resident of Knott Hall. Hailing from Belgrade, Montana, he covered a wide variety of sports in his time at Notre Dame, including Football, Hockey, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Women's Tennis, Fencing, Rowing, Women's Lacrosse and other events around campus. You can contact him in his post-graduation travels and job search at [email protected]

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