Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The hottest ticket in college football
By Brian Bennett
Last week, Nick Saban called out Alabama students for leaving Crimson Tide games early, saying they needed to stick around for all 60 minutes or give away their tickets.
The students responded on Saturday by keeping their section of Bryant-Denny Stadium full until the end of a 45-10 win over Tennessee -- a game the Tide led 35-0 at halftime.
We don't really know if Alabama students are growing bored of their team's constant domination. But if so, they would merely be joining the rest of America.
Saban's "process" reaps undeniably admirable results, as his program has won three of the past four national titles and is in position to claim a third straight crystal football this January.
Admiration and enjoyment, however, do not always go together. An Alabama fatigue factor exists across the country, both because of the Crimson Tide's sustained success and the clinical, almost bloodless, manner in which they've achieved it.
The biggest suspense in the last two BCS title games -- in which Alabama beat Notre Dame and LSU by a combined score of 63-14 -- was whether Saban would crack half a smirk during the celebration.
We respect Alabama's precision. But we also long for some panache. In an age when everyone has a high-definition television and a smartphone to relay all the scores, we demand entertainment as well as execution from our college football teams.
Luckily, we also have an abundance of alternative, anti-Alabama programming this season. In fact, it seems that we're blessed with an unprecedented amount of spectacles and showmen on display from coast to coast, and that is true at the top of this season's BCS standings.
If you could afford just one ticket -- or if you had a really terrible cable package that gave you access to just one game -- how would you choose between some of these top viewing options?