Joe Medley: BIg 3 hear football messages from on high
by Joe Medley
jmedley@annistonstar.com
Nov 11, 2012 | 5658 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama vs Texas A&M.  Photo by Bill Wilson.
Alabama vs Texas A&M. Photo by Bill Wilson.
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So, how many church-goers experienced Sunday sermons that made mention or metaphor of Alabama’s 29-24 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday?

Maybe your pastor mentioned Auburn’s 38-0 loss to Georgia and/or persistent speculation about Gene Chizik’s future as the Tigers’ head coach.

This hack heard both mentioned from the pulpit. I didn’t hear Jacksonville State’s 38-23 victory over Austin Peay, but the other two led nicely into a discussion about life-altering experiences.

The conclusion? No matter what, said Sam Fuson, outgoing interim pastor for First Christian Church of Anniston, Jesus loves you.

Wherever one goes to church, it’s always nice to hear a preacher do what effective ones do — take what’s on everyone’s mind and use it to get everyone’s mind right.

Alabama: Secondary questions

Perspective is in the eye of the beholder when all but one of 227 first-place votes over three major polls fly away after one loss.

Perspective is unwanted company when a program that expects national championships suddenly loses control of its destiny in the championship chase.

Still, Alabama won’t run into many quarterbacks with the balance of talents showed by Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel on Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tide will encounter the freshman every year of his college career, but still, there aren’t many “Johnny Footballs” literally running around … and throwing.

The question becomes learning from what he did against Alabama on Saturday and doing better next time or, at least, doing as well as Florida and LSU did this year.

The fact that LSU’s Zach Mettenberger — a passer but not also a scrambler, like Manziel — had quite a game against Alabama’s defense a week ago indicates the issue is in the secondary.

Alabama’s back line was good enough against most of the teams it has faced this year but got exposed against the quality of talent it faced the past two weeks.

Auburn: There was a game?

Auburn and Georgia renewed the “South’s oldest rivalry” Saturday by renewing the newest sub-rivalry within it — hammer and nail.

Auburn has lost six of the last seven against Georgia, and most were blowouts. Even the win, back in Cam Newton’s day, was a 28-pointer.

Then again, it’s been hammer and nail all season for Auburn (2-8), and we all know which side Auburn has played. It’s to the point that no one even talks about the games.

It’s to the point where Chizik’s future and general signs of a free-falling program are the game story. As for the actual game, who cares?

One could call again for Chizik’s ouster, but that was so three weeks ago. One could call for Auburn to go ahead and make an announcement, but that was so two weeks ago.

Auburn should beat Alabama A&M and will lose big to Alabama. At some point, there will be an announcement. Until then … enjoy a good book?

JSU: Well, that’s something

Give Jack Crowe credit — a school-record 10 consecutive winning seasons means something.

Some in the JSU fan base who have grown impatient will rightly point out everything that such a milestone doesn’t mean much. There are no national championships, like Bill Burgess won in Division II. There are all those times JSU was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference and didn’t.

There was the APR mess that sidelined arguably the best team in the Crowe era in 2009, keeping Ryan Perrilloux and crew out of the playoffs when a nice run looked possible.

JSU doesn’t have a playoff win under Crowe.

Still, it’s worth noting that Crowe gave JSU its first two conference titles in the school’s Division I era, finished with the best league record in 2009 and won a share of a title in 2011.

It’s also worth noting that no other coach in JSU history can claim 10 consecutive winning seasons, and that 10-year stretch comes during JSU’s first 18 seasons in Division I.

When economists measure things against history, they adjust for inflation. Adjusting expectations for realism, the Crowe era comes out in the good.

Sports Columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter @jmedley_star.

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