After elephant stomping Virginia Tech to open the 2013 season, Alabama has been resting at home in Tuscaloosa for the past two weeks. With a bye during Week 2, the team has thus had extra time to prepare for its highly-anticipated rematch against Texas A&M – the only program to beat the Tide a year ago.
Contrary to popular belief, however, so much preparation time was not done by design.
As it turns out, some unknown team out there simply backed out (got too scared?) of a Week 2 game against Saban’s Tide.
“We had a game first week, second week, third week,” Saban said on his radio show, according to AL.com. “Where we’re playing Colorado State was the bye week” Saban said, referring to Alabama’s week three opponent. “The team we’re playing in the second week dumped us, so the only game we could get was Colorado State.”
Alabama plays the Rams one week after Texas A&M, the fourth week of the season. From there the team plays Ole Miss and then FBS newbie Georgia State before finally leaping into full-on SEC play. Finally, FCS-level Chattanooga comes to town the weekend before the season finale against Auburn.
“This wasn’t by plan that we did this,” Saban said.
A year ago, the Tide was forced to play Johnny Manziel and the rest of the up-and-coming Aggies just one week after a grueling, last-second, extremely emotional win over LSU. This year, the team has had ample time to heal injuries, hit the practice field and dissect film in preparation for the trip to College Station.
Sometimes the road to a championship can be an unpredictable one. Saban did not know the schedule was going to play out this way, but it might just end up working out in his favor.
Of course, Alabama still has to beat Johnny Football and A&M, in College Station – no easy task even with months to prepare.