This year football is weird, even in Alabama

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If you have watched a minute of college football this season, or pro ball this week, there should be little that surprises you. Every football fan in the state should be jaded to the whims of the football gods.

But let&8217;s take a moment anyway to reflect not on the national colligate or pro ball scene, which I might add are just plane weird at this moment (South Florida in the Top 5?), but rather on the state of Alabama and Auburn football.

Again let me reiterate this has been a weird season. Alabama and Auburn have seen a reversal of roles as the leading team in the state (which Alabama fans will argue in itself is a reversal of historic roles, as Auburn has dominate the past several years) only to see the roles again reverse, returning Auburn to prominence.

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It has been a wild trip. But that isn&8217;t what I am wanting to talk about.

Through this wild trip of role reversals, with its Freudian connotations, I have noticed some wild fan behavior.

It all started with Nick Saban. Bama gives the guy a job, he comes to Tuscaloosa and&8230; BAMM!… Crimson and White fans are back to their hero worship, talks of championships and unrealistic expectations.

Saban brings with him a psychological shift among Auburn folks as well. The Tiger Nation becomes a bit put off with the talk of a new Bama coach, which is overshadowing their program and the dominance it has dished out over the past several seasons&8230; And rightly so.

Then the season starts.

Week 1 is inconsequential, though it is noticeable that Bama&8217;s offense is better and Auburn is having some growing pains. Week 2 brings the Auburn loss bombshell, which reverberates again in Week 3. All the while Alabama beats Vanderbilt (not much surprise though Vandy was given some love because of a talented receiver) and Arkansas.

The talk begins. Bama is the dominant team in the state again. Auburn has fallen from its momentary place of grace.

Saban is heralded as the second coming of the Bear (as if A-Day wasn&8217;t proof enough). He is rough shod with the media, doesn&8217;t take crap off the Board of Trustees or Bama fans and can even win a game in the fourth quarter (who cares if his team gave up a big lead to allow the game to get close).

Tuberville is seen as a simpleton. Who cares about what he has done the past three years on the plains. He is sticking with Brandon Cox over a freshman quarterback. Cox stinks, Tuberville stinks for playing him, let&8217;s run him out of Auburn.

At this point of the season I am both worried and excited. Not for the afore mentioned reasons one might expect such from a Bama fan. I know Alabama squeezed by Arkansas. I am worried about Georgia, though no one else in crimson and white seems to be. I know Bama won&8217;t sustain. I am worried about the fan backlash when a loss comes, and I know it is coming.

On the other side I am excited. I have heard Auburn fans whining abut Tuberville. Some wanting a new coach. I even had to convince an Auburn fan that Tuberville is one of the Top 5 coaches right now currently employed in Division 1 football. I am praying Tuberville gets spooked and leaves for a new job (at the time Michigan was looking like it needed a coach and even with a win people are mumbling at South Bend). Better yet, I am hoping Auburn again goes behind Tuberville&8217;s back and looks for a new coach to replace him. It would be the best move Auburn&8217;s leadership ever made for the University of Alabama.

But alas, my predictions came true.

Alabama lost, not once but twice. I am happy in a way, because longtime fans and new ones jumping on the train needed a reality check.

Auburn won and won big. I am not so happy about this because, one, Tuberville looks like he is staying (maybe they will fire Al Borges as a consolation prize for Bama), two, the Tigers are getting better as the season progresses, Alabama is getting worse.

Look out Iron Bowl there is no telling what can happen between now and then.

Brandon Glover is the sports editor of The Times. He can be reached at