Just A Minute: Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but it’s not enough

Christopher Walsh

This is my 16 season covering Alabama football in some capacity, and Saturday’s game against Tennessee has to go down as one of the weirdest I’ve experienced as a reporter during that time.

There was Tua Tagovailoa’s injury. The 100-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Trevon Diggs. Henry Ruggs doing another impersonation of the road runner while chasing down a fumble return. The touchdown pass out of the wildcat. The new LED lighting system.

There was a lot going on.

It was a great at atmosphere, the kind that Alabama has been striving to achieve, and for that it should be applauded.

Personally, I’m disappointed that the plans for the viewing deck and giant video board in the upper deck have been scrapped, and the best-located press box in college football will be no more.

But we’ve all gotten a taste of what the expectations are moving forward.

There are only three more home games until the next round of renovations begin.

Something that isn’t appreciated enough is how Alabama has largely gone from being a reactive athletic department, when it regressed as a football program, to being pro-active. Nick Saban has been at the forefront of this, and now he has an athletic director who is as well, Greg Byrne.

That isn’t easy. They’ve been going against the current with each and every change, and still are. It’s the difference between being leaders and followers, and why so many other programs may be doing everything they can to copy Alabama, but still can’t overtake the Crimson Tide.

It leads to statistics like Saban being 19-0 against his former assistant coaches, Alabama having won 88 straight games against unranked opponents, and being ranked No. 1 at some of the season every year since 2008.