By Austin Payne
So Alabama is playing in the uh…Citrus Bowl…this year. Roll…Tide? This doesn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations of one of the most storied college football programs in the history of the sport. With Nick Saban at the helm, the expectations every year for this team are pretty much national title or bust.
Having been in the playoff annually since it’s inception, and considering their yearly top five recruiting class that they pull in, aaaand considering the fact that they may very well have the best college coach of all time…the Tide have reasonably high expectations for such an elite set of people. Because of all of this, ending up in the Citrus Bowl to play Michigan isn’t exactly that exciting for a fan base that’s accustomed to much more.
But hey, at least we have some friendly inter-team locker room drama. Well, let’s not call it that and realize that realistically all of these guys are likely on good terms. However, in spite of this, we can’t help but realize the polarity of the situation when it comes to players who are and aren’t planning to partake in the bowl game.
Both defensive starters Terrell Lewis and Trevon Diggs announced their intentions to abstain from playing in their final collegiate game, as to not risk injury to themselves and potentially damaging their early career earnings or career in general with regards to the NFL. Star wide receiver, and potential top five pick Jerry Jeudy on the other hand, took to twitter to solidify his intentions to play in the same game these two are sitting out of. (See Tweet)
Though this may seem like some potential drama or a disconnect within the locker room in Tuscaloosa, the reality of the situation is that it’s likely nothing. This should serve as a reminder to us that all decisions like these are personal, and often come down to personality type and just your internal beliefs system. (See Source)
The game itself on the other hand should be…potentially close? Michigan, despite their offensive woes and Shea Patterson moments throughout the season, managed to string together some decent games before getting, let’s be honest, Harbaugh fired when they lost to Ohio State yet again. Couple this with some defensive stars being out for Bama, no Tua at QB, and just an overall sense that the game does not really matter…the talent discrepancy on Michigan’s side could easily be eclipsed by all of these things.
Expect a decent game, but hey, surely you know we can’t trust JH to beat Nick Saban…i’m takin the Tide.