Alabama Football

Ryan Tople

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It’s 2nd down and #26 as a freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa throws a perfect pass to freshman wide receiver Devonta Smith to win the 2018 National Championship against the Georgia Bulldogs. With Alabama being defending National Champions they come into the 2018-2019 season ranked #1. With being ranked #1 you would think that Alabama would have a tough schedule to play this year, to prove that they should stay #1 by beating other ranked teams. Each team will play 12 games during the football and you would think Alabama has a tough schedule, but that’s exactly what they don’t have. Alabama only plays three ranked teams this year, not exactly a tough schedule if you ask me. The reason why Alabama would be ranked so high each season is the fact that they play easy teams to beat so they can get ranked higher each week to get a chance to get to play for a National Championship. Then doing the same thing over and over every year. No one is really sure how the ranking system works for college football, is it by if you play higher ranked teams and beat them you move up? Or can you move up in the rankings by beating opponents who aren’t even ranked? Looking at the Alabama schedule it doesn’t look like they will really even be tested until November 3rd when they play ranked #11 LSU, and LSU could drop in standings by then. After that week the Crimson Tide will face ranked #18 Mississippi State, and the what looks like toughest opponent being ranked #7 Auburn. Some concerns about the Alabama schedule is that they play teams which not many people have heard of. In their 5th game Alabama will play a team named LA- Lafayette, then in week 11 they will play Citadel, none of these two teams are ranked or have been ranked for a time.

Another reason why these powerhouse teams play lower ranked teams within the first few weeks of the season is to give the team confidence, also to get more people on board with the team, such as boosters and fans. With being a big-time school you have many people or companies who are interested in the school. Nike and Alabama used to have contracts with each other, but when Nike just recently signing a deal with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, Alabama thought it would look better if they left Nike, because of Kaepernick’s controversial past. Kaepernick is known for starting the protest of taking a knee during the National Anthem before NFL games. This created many problems in the NFL, and all over the world with other people and other sports players from different teams. This created problems with the front offices for many teams with players wanting more money, or being treated differently, this would also have an impact on team chemistry.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/nike-alabama/

The Tide keeps rolling, Alabama football is now 2-0 on their season, with beating opponents Louisville by a score of 51 to 14, as well as beating Arkansas state 57 to 7. The Tides next opponent will be against an unranked Mississippi State. The al.com said this about Alabama football, “ the two wins were expected, so we went a little deeper into what went right and a few things that could be fixed.” They also talk about how Alabama is going up against a terrible defense, “Ole Miss enters Saturday with the 96th worst 3rd-down defense allowing conversions on 41.7 percent of the attempts.” Being such a large school like Alabama, they go big or they go home, “In those third-down passes, Alabama needed an average of 9.3 yards for the first down. The completions averaged 20.7 yards.” With the Tide rolling in Alabama many people are interested to see how the team is doing when that many stats about the team have come out. According to 247sports.com, “Alabama is averaging 54 points per game (10th nationally) and 554 yards per game (19th nationally) through two games. The Crimson Tide have scored 15 touchdowns (8th nationally) and are averaging 309 passing yards per game (27th nationally).” Alabama is killing it in and out of college, Alabama football is the best team in the country, and that means many scouts from NFL teams come and watch them play or watch film on their players to be possible prospects. With this quote from al.com saying about how many Alabama alumni are in the NFL today, During the opening weekend of the NFL’s 2018 season, Alabama had more alumni on the active rosters of the league’s 32 teams than any other college.

According to a map, it states that “Mobile County is 51.3 percent Alabama fans.” Alabama has many followers on social media they may have the most, they have 597K followers on Instagram and 847.8K followers on Twitter. The real question is with how Alabama football is, do they play an easy schedule on purpose or do they pay teams to play them so they look good? All of this will have to be answered by a coach of some sort of football team.

Sometimes while watching a sports game and it’s not even close or it’s an awful game to watch you may think to yourself, how are these two teams playing each other. Well, that’s because either they are in the same division or conference and are required to, or it’s because some teams may pay other teams to come to play them, whether it be for publicity to get the team hyped up or just for another win for the season, but every team is guilty of it. It doesn’t matter what sport or what team every team either pays a worse team to play them or they just don’t pay them and sell their team as really bad so the other team thinks they have a shot.

I was talking to a high school football coach and asked him a few questions on his take of college football and I got some very interesting answers. I asked him what his thoughts are on college football and he replied with “it’s meaningful”. Then I asked should college athletes get paid and he said, “ they should get paid, the universities and their sponsors profit off of the students, and make millions of dollars, and the athletes won’t do as many bad things if they have their own money, cause right now they have to accept money from people and trade in things.” I also asked him a very big question in today’s world and that is, do you think some colleges are overrated, like their sports teams. His response was, “No, college football teams are not overrated, they are just very good and have a lot of talent, and if they keep winning more kids will come.” He also used a quote from the movie field of dreams: “If you build it they will come.” He said it also relates to high school, “ If you have a good high school program and a lot of talent more kids will wanna go here, that’s why you see so many transfers now, cause they wanna play for a good sports team,” all of this was said by Divine Child football coach Chris Ploucha. Then I decided to dig a little deeper and got more sources, but this one was from a former division one basketball player for the University of Michigan, Ben Cronin, and I asked him do you think teams pay other teams to play against them and he said, “100% sure, teams will make contracts with other teams and they could possibly be up to $1,000,000. Then I asked have you ever had an experience with this and he replied with, “When I was working as an athletic director at a Detroit public school, some Catholic school paid us $1,000 to play them in football.”

So with all this information I now truly wonder is college football even real? Or is this just all made up so we can have the same four teams every year go to compete for a national title, and just have people put bets on whom they think will win and give all the money to the NCAA and the winning team? Now I question this with all sports, is what we watching even real or is it just all made up for the publicity? These questions may never be answered but we can all have our own opinion, and mine is I think college football is fake and made up, it’s just another thing for the news and to make money off of, which isn’t the true meaning of sports.

During the months of September and October Friday nights are the biggest events for high school, whether it’s a home or an away game kids will travel to root their team on. I had the privilege to interview Senior Divine Child football player Garrett Vincent who starts at cornerback for the Falcons. The Falcons are in Division 3 which is for the weaker teams but not too weak. I asked him a few questions about his football team and their status. They are in Division 3 because we are a smaller school and don’t have as many kids and Division 1 and 2 schools do. The Falcons have had 2 blow out games this year. With losing the season opener to Harper woods 46-7 and then also losing to Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s 42-14, a Division 1 team. Going against these teams both of them have many Division 1 offers and the Falcons have none. So the questions remains, did Harper Woods and St. Mary’s plan those games on purpose or did they not know the game would be a blowout? Or did they do it to please the parents so their belief in the school remains strong? It also has an effect on kids who are in 7th and in 8th grade because the high schools look more appealing to their parents want to send their kids to that school. So we have the same question with college football as high school, do teams schedule games against other teams on purpose so just get another win on the record for the year and to get people excited about the program?

We are halfway through college football, and Alabama football is 6-0 and hasn’t even come close to losing a game. In these past 6 games, Alabama has scored a total of 336 points that’s an average of 56 points a game, all of Alabama opponents have scored a total of 96 points that’s an average of 16 a game. With 6 games left remaining on Alabama’s schedule they will play three teams that are ranked and the closest team to being number #1 like Alabama is number #13 LSU. As I was watching Sports Center today, they were discussing this same topic Alabama football. They were saying how Alabama is only ranked number 1 because they haven’t even really been challenged yet, and how their quarterback gets taken out of the game in the 4th quarter because they are beating the opponents so bad it’s not even a close game, and why risk having the quarterback, the best player, get injured. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is currently in the mock rankings to win the Heisman trophy, which goes to the best player in college football that year. A report from Sports Center came out about Alabama’s Head Coach Nick Saban which compared his team to a “really nice convertible”. This quote by Saban expressed how his team may appear all nice and clean on the inside, but on the outside, there are some bang-up parts and old tires, and that need to be taken into the shop and get fixed. Also, he said at the end of the day we have to win football games, even if the kids are or aren’t injured we still gotta focus on the task at hands and win football games, it’s our job to do.

Another question we must ask ourselves is how is Alabama so good every year just continually, well the answer is they are the number 1 in recruiting ranking, just taking it back from Texas A&M. Alabama has 18 commitments for the class of 2019. They have recruited some of the best players in the nation, all 5 or 4-star recruits and all at least 6’4 and 285 pounds. The real question is how does Alabama get these kids to come to their school because being the best players in the nation, there are many other offers, but why do they choose Alabama, where they could possibly go to another big school and start right away or even get a full ride? So the question we need to find out is, does Alabama pay players to come to there school to play for them, or do they give them special rewards like a new pair of shoes, or the newest car, or help their families out with the bills around the house, or do they make a big promise to these kids? It doesn’t really matter how good you are because nothing is guaranteed in this world nowadays. You could be the number 1 ranked player in high school and go to Alabama, but that doesn’t mean you are gonna start right away at Alabama, you have to work for it and be committed to it. Or you could have a serious injury and never be the same and lose all your football skills, then what? what do you have left if you put all your marbles in a bag on playing football? Just look at past NFL players such as Johnny Manziel and Colin Kaepernick, these are examples of two quarterbacks who let the fame and money get to there head. I mean Colin led his team to the Super Bowl which they lost in, but still, Kaepernick was a good quarterback but just couldn’t control himself and let what he truly loved get away from him. The same thing with Manziel, a Heisman Trophy winner in college, then struggled a bit in the NFL and just decided he couldn’t do it and had off the field issue and now plays in the Canadian pro league. You want to know what NFL stands for, I’ll tell you this it doesn’t stand for National Football League, it actually stands for Not For Long.

The Tide continues to roll strong, as we are less than 4 weeks left in college football and as of right now we are pretty clear on which team will and won’t make the playoffs and have a chance to playoffs. As of right now, Alabama is still ranked #1, which is no surprise to anyone. Alabama is about to play their toughest opponent of the season ranked #4 LSU. This is the first time that Alabama will have to keep their quarterback in for the whole game. The real question is how will Alabama play against a ranked team, will they play better than they have or keep their game plan the same and just not worry at all, just act like it’s a regular game? This game could possibly decide the rankings for the playoffs with these two teams going against each other, one team could stay number one or one could move up in rankings.

LSU currently only has one loss this season and that was to ranked #9 Florida State by a score of 27-19. LSU has beat only one ranked team this year and that was Georgia 36-16. So LSU hasn’t really seen too many tough teams yet this year, so this will be a good game because it holds many unknowns for each team. This game could go many ways, it could be a blowout or a close game with a last second play to win it.

The biggest time of the year is coming to an end, college football season just has a few games left before it’s all over and they restart it up again next year. As of right now, there are just a few teams being looked at for making the playoffs and possibly having a chance to play for the National Championship. The teams are as ranked from number 1 to 4, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, LSU. Also having Michigan and Ohio State possibly going to sneak in there at the last second. Now for some of these teams if you don’t make it to playoffs they will still play in a bowl game. You could have a situation where you end up with the ranked number 5 team play and ranked 20 team or play a team who isn’t even ranked at all, and just have a blowoff game and have all that money just go to those two teams for a game that means nothing and just try to end the season on a high note. Or you could have two teams or are evenly matched and play a really good game and have people watch that on their TVs.

In all honesty though, for the bowl games it doesn’t matter the score the fans are going to watch the more popular teams, no matter what. For bowl games a lot of things are in play you need a neutral field to play at, you need sponsors to help hosts the game and support it on TV which brings in and is a lot of cash, and it also depends what network is gonna air the game. Also with these bowl games depending on the team and where the game is being held you are going to have a majority of the students from that school come down and watch the game, even if they know they aren’t going to win they still just wanna support the school, have a good time and act like college students and just party on game day.

Now with all these students coming down to watch the game wherever it’s going to be held at you have hotel cost, flying or driving cost, you need food and water, you have to pay to get into the game, and college students are going to want the good stuff to party with and that could cost a lot of money especially if they get caught with anything illegal. Now with the bigger bowl games are also known as the playoffs. You have the #1 team playing against the #4 team. For the other game, you have the #2 team playing against the #3 team. Then the two winners will play each other for the National Championship. This day is one of the biggest days in the sports world and almost one of the most watched sports games that year, close to the Super Bowl. You can buy your tickets now for the National Championship game, prices for tickets range from $1,655 to $67,850. That is a lot of money just to be told where you have to sit at a game. Then you also have to pay for traveling cost such as hotels and cars because most the people attending the game do not live close to the arena where the game is held. You also have to buy food, drinks, and snacks at the game, and no one never leaves without some type of souvenir especially from a game with such a high caliber. Now the teams will receive some of this money, but how much?

With there just being four games left for each college football team, there is no room for error. By this time the playoffs would be all set, but since it’s too close between so many teams, it’s too close of a call. There are currently three teams undefeated, they are Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame. Alabama will play three ranked teams with the remaining four games on their schedule. The rest of Clemson’s schedule has three games remaining and will only play one ranked team, and for Notre Dame, they have three games left and will only play one ranked team. So if everything goes well for all three of these teams they all should make playoffs and have a chance at the National Championship. With Michigan at number four with an 8-1 record and Georgi at number 5 with also being 8-1 the last spot is anyone’s game for playoffs. Michigan has only three games left and will only play one ranked team, Georgia has four games left and playing two ranked teams, and there last game of the season is against Alabama, that game can determine a lot, if Alabama wins the rest of the season they will stay number one and Georgia will be out Michigan will make playoffs. On the other hand, if Georgia beats Alabama then there will possibly be three teams with only one loss.


According to the website https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2018-college-football-predictions/, they have predicted the chances for each team on making playoffs, winning the conference, and winning the national championship. This is no surprise but as of right now Alabama has the biggest chance at winning the national championship at 33%, and making playoffs is 77% and winning their conference is 65%. Clemson has a 32% chance of winning the national championship, 94% chance of winning the conference, and a 92% chance of making playoffs. Ranked at number three, Notre Dame has a 57% of making playoffs, and a 6% chance of winning the national championship. Ranked at number four Michigan has a 53% chance of winning the conference, a 39% chance at making playoffs, and a 7% of winning the national championship.

“Alabama is a clear favorite to win the National Title, but as of late, Michigan has been the hottest team,”- Jacob Balash and Vinny Varady agreed. Now asking why they think Alabama will win, “Alabama’s offense is amazing, their offense and defense line are huge.” I also asked them if they are Alabama fans and they responded no, but you can’t deny how good they are. Asking if Clemson will win and their response was, “No, no one will beat Alabama, and they Clemson freshman quarterback will choke.”

Looking at past winners Alabama and Clemson have both been going head to head for the National Championship. Alabama won the championship in 2016, 2018, and lost to Clemson in 2017. If Alabama makes it to the National Championship again that would be there 4th year in a row playing for the title.

With just one week left for the college football season, the playoff picture is basically all set except for the last seed. With Alabama having the one seed and Clemson at two an Notre Dame at three, the number seed is a toss-up between Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. The thing here is that Georgia is playing Alabama, so if Georgia loses then they will have two losses and possibly not be able to make playoffs, so that opens to the door for Oklahoma or Ohio State.

The college playoffs are all set. Alabama will take the number one seed playing Oklahoma at the number four seed. The other matchup will be number two Clemson playing against the number three see Notre Dame. Alabama and Oklahoma will play on December 29th in the Orange Bowl at 8 pm, and Clemson and Notre Dame will play that same day, but at 4 pm in the Cotton Bowl. It is not surprising that Alabama and Clemson have made this far, as they do every year. As projected, Alabama has a 72% chance to make it to the National Championship and a 41% to win the National Championship. Clemson has a 69% to make it to the championship and a 36% to win it all. Notre Dame has a 31% chance to make it and an 11% to win it all. Oklahoma has a 28% to make it and also has an 11% to win it all. The National Championship game will take place on January 7th, in Santa Clara in California. With these big games happening it is attracting a lot of attention. College football is the most watched sport in the USA. The least expensive tickets for the game is $200 and the most expensive are $2,500. The tickets for the National Championship prices haven’t come out yet, but they will most likely come out once the two teams for the championship are announced. Most of the odds for the championship is Alabama against Clemson, just like it always is.

With all of this hype on college football and how much stress these kids are under to perform so well and make everyone happy, the big question is, should these college athletes be getting paid? Personally, I think it is a very bad idea to pay college athletes for any sport. Everyone will have a different opinion and many reasons for his or her answer, but some main reasons why college athletes should not get paid are cause they will waste their money on many meaningless things, they will start gambling and putting their money at rest, and if they end up dealing with the wrong person it can end badly and they might end up having to shave points in their game and get in serious trouble with the league and team and possibly end their career. According to the https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/college-athletes-getting-paid-here-are-some-pros-cons_us_58cfcee0e4b07112b6472f9a. It gives many pros and cons on why college athletes should be paid or not. Some of the pros to support their families with paying the bills and buying food and drinks and whatever other essentials they need to live off of. They also should get paid so hopefully the players will stay longer, because if they make money from a team then they will more than likely to continue with their program because they are getting paid to do what the love, even though they may not play. It is also giving the players what they deserve. Some cons of players getting paid are it can be unfair be some players cause some athletes will get paid more than others, for example, the starters will make more than the kids who don’t even see the field at all. Such as, the starting quarterback could make $5000 and the 5th string wide receiver could make less than $1000. Another con to college athletes getting paid is kids may not go to school cause they feel like they don’t have to. As of now, kids don’t want to go to school as it is, they usually just get other kids to do that work for them or they have tutors do it for them, I mean if your getting paid to play the game you love why would you go to school. A con for athletes getting paid is that they lose love and passion for the game. This is a big con cause they could just fake it the whole season so they just get the money at that point they don’t care about how much playing time they get or how good their stats look, at the end of the day they just want that money.

With all the focus on these players and how good they are right now and if they are going to win the national championship, the one question that most people think about is, what are these kids gonna do after college is over. There are about 115 division 1 football teams and each team holds about 110 players, so that means that there are 12,650 college football players, and each of them have the same goal: going to the NFL. With that many players trying to get into the NFL only 224 of them get drafted each year. There are 32 teams in the NFL and each team can have 53 men on the active roster and 10 on the practice squad. Now even though some players may not get drafted they still have a chance to make a team. Once the draft is over and a player has not been drafted every team has a right to sign him to a contract or just invite them to their team camp. The real test comes once they make the team can they stay on the team, the average NFL career is 3 years long. The average career is 6 years but only if you make the opening day roster in your rookie season, but if you make a pro bowl you usually last longer than 6 years. The reasons for these players having such short careers can either be injuries, trouble on and off the field, or just simply these new and younger guys are coming in and outworking them and performing better than they are. So in a coach’s mind when he sees that he is thinking would he rather take a players who is 22 years old and wants to work really hard and gives it is all every time he’s on the field or a 27-year-old who just is average and thinks he already made the team because he has a contract. He would take the younger guy so he can build them up. Now once these players make it to the league they feel like there is nothing in the world that can stop them but they are wrong. They think all you need in life is money and your job and your all set, but they don’t know that it can go away just like that. The league minimum in the NLF is $465,500 and each year it will continue to go up. So even if you don’t touch the field once all year you are still making almost half a million a year. This is just so ridiculous, sports are so overrated they have lost the meaning of the true game and what it’s supposed to be like. Everyone is just too focused on the money and this needs to change.

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