The Edmond Sun

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
  • 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

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-HB0713-HowardMartin-004.jpg Airman laid to rest back home in Indiana six decades after death

    The mystery of what happened to a military transport plane that disappeared in the fall of 1952 into an Alaskan glacier was solved two years ago when a helicopter crew spotted the wreckage. But it took another two years to retrieve the remains of Airman Howard Miller and 16 other servicemen passengers. Saturday, Miller was laid to rest in his hometown of Elwood, Ind., with full military honors. Hundreds turned out for the funeral and burial services.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • New York to offer free lunch to all middle-school students

    New York's $75 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began last week includes the first step toward offering free lunch for all 1.1 million students, expanding a program now reserved only for the city's poorest children.

    July 9, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 11.24.10 AM.png VIDEO: Pilot buys pizzas for storm-delayed travelers

    A Frontier Airlines pilot went above and beyond the call of duty when a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to Denver was diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming due to bad weather.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps

     I climbed the ladder quickly, free to work any hours in any location for any pay. I moved from market to market, always achieving a better title, a better salary. Succeeding.

    July 8, 2014