Turning of the Tide | Part 2: The Statement; How beating Clemson, Georgia launched Alabama’s dynasty

Turning of the Tide | Part 2: The Statement; How beating Clemson, Georgia launched Alabama’s dynasty


Let me tell you something about Coach
Saban, and one of his beliefs that’s permeated every guy that’s ever coached
for him. All the hype… It lasts till you get punched in the mouth. Well, once you get punched in the mouth, you fall back on your preparation, and you got to be
a relentless ass competitor. Cause, if not, it’s gonna be a long afternoon. Kirk Herbstreit: “Clemson has this team Tommy Bowden and the Tiger fans” “have been waiting to see for a long time.” Clemson fans were expecting a win. I think we had 18 starters
returning, right around there, had a quarterback Cullen Harper was coming back, running back C.J. Spiller. I had a pretty good wide receiver, Aaron Kelly… and enough defensive players we thought where we could have a pretty good year. It was fascinating because it was the first Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game, so no one
really knew what to expect, and Clemson was the team that was expected to
contend for a championship. It was Tommy Bowden’s 10th year there… and as far as Alabama was concerned, we really didn’t know what to expect Nick Saban, as a championship coach, we all expected him to get there, but I don’t know that any
of us really believed it was going to happen in 2008. So, if we had anything
that we thought was, I guess, a competitive advantage going into the
season, we really didn’t know how good we were gonna be. I remember feeling very
optimistic. I think there was a quiet confidence around that we had a great
infusion of guys who were already there. We knew what they could do, but also a
great nucleus of young talent. Going into the Clemson game, the season opener, I was very excited to see how good this team was and see a lot of these players who
I’d only seen on the practice field, to see ’em in actual game situation against Coach Bowden and his bunch. It wasn’t so much, were we going to win…
How much were we gonna win by? Of course, as a coach you try to prepare your team totally different. Don’t listen to what the newspapers say. I know this program, I know about the head coach, I know the quality of players they had. We recruited against Alabama a lot. Dabo Swinney was on my staff. He played at Alabama, recruited Alabama. I knew that it was going to be a very tough job. But, the Clemson people were expecting a win. And, a significant win. That was opportunity for our guys to say hey, we’re the Alabama of old. We’re gonna step out and show you what we’re about. For the senior class, we wanted to go out on a note that let people know that, you
know, Alabama is back. Alabama is a dominant school, and we’re not gonna be the underdogs. We’re gonna be the bullies on the block and when we roll in you’re not gonna I remember starting out the game, I felt like we would be able to run the ball a little bit. Brent Musburger: “And it’s a thunderous effort by the Tide right now…” “as Terrence Cody, their 365-pound nose man, blows the play up.” We quickly became one-dimensional, and
there was something big guy in the middle he was always in the backfield.
Hadn’t heard much about him. Knew they’d signed a junior college big guy…but… You know sometimes, a big 300-pound guy fatigues early. You make a couple of plays, and he’s
out resting eight or nine plays. But, couldn’t handle him inside. It was a complete mismatch. Clemson finished with zero rushing yards. Zero. The thing that really stood out to you on the sidelines when you’re watching that game is – hey, we got big, fast, physical, smart football players that love playing the game. We kind of took it personally upon us, on the offensive line. We’ve got to go out there and control the clock and put drives together and give John Parker
time to find some of his wide receivers. Julio Jones caught, I think, four passes that day. It was our introduction to him
as an impact wide out, and maybe the biggest name in that 2008 recruiting
class. We saw Mark Ingram in his Alabama debut. He led all rushers that game, just short of a hundred yards. Those guys in that class, making an immediate impact… And that’s when we started to see the hallmark of a Nick Saban program. Beating people up physically, running the ball, playing defense, and shutting people down. Eli Gold: “That is gonna do it. Welcome to 2008.” “The world is again spinning on its axis correctly, as Alabama has beaten the #9 team in America decisively.” You know, they were supposed to be some of the best guys in the country, and they were physically beat by the end of the
game. And, I think, for the first time we could honestly say we whipped the team
from the first snap, to the last whistle. You’re dominating your opponent,
you’re executing, and you’re trying to make his ass quit. And, that was a good
early establishment for that season. We made them quit. Now, for Nick Saban, it was going to be managing expectations. More than any touchdown, any
catch, any tackle…I remember the postgame. It was the first time we were
introduced to the concept that Nick Saban would be angrier after a victory,
than he would ever be after a loss. “You know, what our players need to understand,
what our fans need to understand, what everybody needs to understand: it’s one
game. That’s one game. Aight? And, we need to keep playing better. And, we need to improve…and our players need to have the focus to improve, and remember how they got where they got, rather than think that we can just show up now and beat
whoever we play. Because we have a tendency to think that way around here… Instead of just kicking people’s ass like you’re supposed to and working to do it. Something that he would always say after a game like that was, the 24-hour rule is in effect. So, whether you do good or you do bad, you win a game or you lose a game… when you get to work on Sunday, the next day, it’s time to go to work you got to forget about the last game, and move on to the next one. For me, week one was special, no doubt about it. The Clemson victory was, you know, right there at the top of the list. But I…and don’t tell this to Coach Saban… But, I was already looking ahead to week four, when Alabama played Georgia. Obviously, going in there and playing Georgia in Athens, between the hedges, after they had beat us the year before… was that next
benchmark. Can we really get this done? Boy, they’ve got talent over the place.
Matt Stafford… and A.J. Green…and Knowshon Moreno. The list of NFL players goes on. So,
can we really step our game up and play to those guys’ level? The motivational leader of the program, the guy that is really the inspiration of the guys, is Scott
Cochran. (Scott Cochran yelling) I can’t remember what day of the week that came out that they were going to do
their “blackout, dog night” or whatever it was but at stretch lines that day,
Coach Cochran goes… “UH OH…UH OH…” “HERE WE GO, HERE WE GO!” “They’re wearing all black, they’re going to their” — I ain’t gonna say exactly what he said — “own funeral!” Well our guys got a kick out of that. I definitely remember what Coach Cochran said. I think everyone by now knows what he said… And, hey — he was right, by the way. They were going to a funeral. You know, we just always showed up in the same jerseys no matter what so really
didn’t matter us. The fact that they think we need to black out to beat us… of all teams, us…they’re worried about us? Uh, you know, it was kind of…we just kind of chuckled about that. I remember Coach Stallings, of course — Alabama’s coach in the early 90s, he chimed in and said, “Well, if you got ’em worrying about what
they’re gonna wear, you already got ’em beat.” Suffice to say, uniform color
doesn’t mean a hill of beans. Announcer: “For the first time since 1942…” “Alabama and Georgia will face each other as undefeated and Top 10 teams.” If you can’t get jacked for this one, you never will.” I think sometimes people imagine that it must be awesome to run out to cheers. I thought — my favorite experience in college football was running out to boos. It was an “us against the world” kind of feeling, and I think that was probably
the loudest I’ve ever been booed possibly, was running out on that field in Georgia. (crowd boos) We used that energy for us. It was good for us, also. There was a lot of fans pulling for them, and not a lot of
pulling for us. But, I think we kind of fed off that also. People talk about being in the zone. Well, for me, this was a game where I was in the zone. I mean, jaws were dropping. You could not believe it. I mean, this team looked like the best team in America. Eli Gold: “How about that? Alabama, 41. Georgia, 30. And it was not even that close.” “Uga with a frown on his face.” We were all saying to ourselves, well now, this is a pretty good football team. This could be a really special season. I don’t think it sunk in for me until after the Georgia game. The Clemson game was an awakening… but, the Georgia game was… you know it was…you know… the dam broke and… there was no putting the genie back in the bottle after that. I think it gave our team a real confidence that, hey — We can play with anybody. We really can. And, that was kinda the first time where… where people started to whisper that, you know what, this team… we have a chance to win a National Championship this year. And that was kind of the goal after that game moving forward that we really wanted to achieve that. Rebuilding is not something that’s a part of the Alabama program anymore. They don’t rebuild. They just reload now. But, we didn’t know that back in 2008. We didn’t know reloading was a thing. We thought that we might be going into a rebuilding year…

About the Author: Garret Beatty

39 Comments

  1. Hey I love this series of videos you guys have put together. Awesose job! I hope yall plan to releas these as a whole on dvd or blu ray. Thanks

  2. Here is what a CFB powerhouse looks like
    Wallace Wade era
    1925 10-0 (7-0) NC
    1926 9-0-1 (8-0) NC
    1930 10-0 (7-0) NC
    Frank Thomas era
    1934 10-0 (7-0) NC
    1941 9-2 (6-1) Claimed NC
    1945 10-0 (7-0) UN Claimed NC
    Bear Bryant era
    1961 11-0 (7-0) NC
    1964 10-1 (8-0) NC
    1965 9-1-1 (6-1-1) NC
    1966 11-0 (6-0) UN Claimed NC
    1971 11-1 (7-0)*UN Claimed NC*
    1973 11-1 (8-0) Claimed NC
    1975 11-1 (7-0) UN Claimed NC
    1977 11-1 (7-0) UN Claimed NC
    1978 11-1 (6-0) NC
    1979 12-0 (6-0) NC
    Gene Stallings era
    1992 13-0 (8-0) NC
    Nick Saban era
    2009 14-0 (8-0) NC
    2011 12-1 (7-1) NC
    2012 13-1 (7-1) NC
    2015 14-1 (7-1) NC
    2017 14-1 (7-1) NC
    2018 12-0 (8-0) ???
    These are all straight up National Titles, Claimed National Titles, and UN Claimed National Titles.
    Thats 22 outright, claimed, and unclaimed national titles. So if anyone wants to argue that Bama dosent have the amount of national titles that they have, then throw this in their face and tell them "Ok, well there is a few national titles that Bama dosent claim when they could."
    And just imagine if Bryant would have had his teams voted #1 in (66,71,75,77) Bryant would have 10 National Titles, and Saban has 5 at Bama, and he came very close to have won titles in (08,13,14,16) That's 8 National Titles between those two coaches that either should have won, or came very very close to doing so. If you don't believe Alabama is CFB royalty, and is the BEST college football program to ever be assembled? Then all I have to say to those haters is "Roll Tide! "

  3. DAWGS WIN and Bama still makes the playoffs and plays the DAWGS again for the National Championship and loses again to the DAWGS. You saw it here 1st.

  4. I will always remember Doug Flutie's comment at halftime. Bama showed up for a fist fight and Clemson showed up for a school dance (something like that).

  5. Yea I remembered that game I loved it I knew we were going to be something to contend with that year. I hear all these Facebook bullies talking they are tired of Bama but guess what were not going nowhere. We set the standards they live by then.

  6. I want y’all to understand, I physically cannot want till part 3. I just found the page and I can’t explain how pumped I am watching part 1&2 back to back. Keep on, keeping on.

  7. Alabama is a great football program, definitely royalty. But the greatest college football team of all time is still the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

  8. I will contend til the day I die that the Colorado win in the Independence bowl the year before was REALLY where Alabama arrived. You could see the change in mentality, and the players that didn't buy in didn't play. The ones that bought in, played hard, played tough, for four quarters, and they won that game…in the 40's cold, btw!..through a sheer dominance of power for the first time. We KNEW that was the "real" beginning of Saban Football here at Alabama.

  9. AS MUCH AS I WANT TO BEAT BAMA. AS A LSU FAN, NICK SABAN GOT LSU WHERE THEY ARE NOW! BEST COACH IN HISTORY BY FAR! I RESPECT COACH SABAN, BUT MAN.. I REALLY WANT TO BEAT THEM!!! #MUCHRESPECT

  10. Julio will always be one of my favorite players to ever come through the Capstone, and 3:45 is why. First TD as a college player, big time stage on national TV, and look at the celebration. Dude was voted in to student body council when he was there. Instead of brushing it off like most future all pro players would, he takes it serious. He goes to student council meetings while juggling football. He didn't have to do that. He knew he was looking at millions in a couple of years. That's Julio man. High character, humble with a great work ethic.

  11. Mizzou fan and graduate here. I was at the first SEC game Alabama played at Mizzou. Great fans. I hope one day we can compete on the same level as Alabama. Love the SEC. Thanks for having us. If you don't think we belong, atleast we're better than arkansas.

  12. I was 14 when saban came but it was a huge deal in my small town in Alabama. That was our topic in class for weeks lol, I remember the turn around it was amazing. And a few years ago I realized just how great this era is and that I needed to pay attention to the history being made. ROLL TIDE!

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