Weatherford Democrat

Z_CNHI News Service

September 12, 2013

'Bama-A&M face-off may come down to mental game

This is how big Saturday’s showdown between Alabama and Texas A&M is shaping up: Students backing the Crimson Tide are headed to New Orleans to watch the big game.

Nope, that’s not a mistake. Sure the game is in College Station – everybody knows that – but if you can’t get a ticket at Kyle Field, you gotta go somewhere exciting for the action, so The Big Easy seems like the second best place to be.

So bring it on. The Aggies might rule with the 12th Man, but the Tide will stand tall in the land where Bear Bryant – who would have turned 100 years old this week -- also coached.

The Alabama-A&M showdown is much more than a repeat face-off of two Southeastern Conference powers that went a combined 24-3 last year.  It’s more than a game between the country’s No. 1 and No. 6 ranked teams. It’s more than Alabama’s dogged defense versus A&M’s dominating offense.

Storylines are numerous. There’s Alabama’s ultimate challenge of staying focused and being disciplined and A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s ability to manage a game and not succumb to fighting the unrelenting distractions. So in a sport where brute strength and physical combativeness are critical, whoever wins the mental struggle is more likely to win.

It’s hard to say who that favors. Last year A&M rolled into Bryant-Denny Stadium and shocked the Tide, 29-24, because Alabama let Manziel get loose, allowing the defense to make mistakes. Coach Nick Saban and his staff have worked overtime – boosted by an extra week of preparation – to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

His plan is simple. “Everybody has to take care of business,” Saban said at his news conference this week. “We have to be our team, playing our game, taking care of our business. Everybody has to do their job.”

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Posturing, predictions fly as SEC turns to a new season

    Little news is truly made at the Southeastern Conference's media days, where players and coaches predict, insinuate and deflect in advance of this fall's college football season.
     

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating