SEC Champs Return To T-Town
SEC Champ Alabama's Delta Airlines Boeing 757-200 charter flight touched down at Tuscaloosa National Airport at 9:16 Saturday night. After a few minutes of taxiing, Delta 8891 came to a halt in front of the airport terminal. The ground crew rolled the stairs to the side of the aircraft and a short time later a flight attendant inside pushed the door open to the cheers of a hundred of so happy Crimson Tide fans. Some had been standing at the gate for almost an hour in the rain waiting for the 2023 Southeastern Conference Champions to return home from their 27-24 upset of top ranked Georgia.
Just as Miss Terry and Coach Saban stepped out on the top step the rain began to fall heavier. But that didn't deter the fan's enthusiasm as the cheers intensified and the shaking pom poms sent water flying all over everyone. Nobody cared, they were still delirious from watching eight-ranked Alabama defy the oddsmakers and continue to "teach the bulldogs to behave" at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium earlier in the evening. They were there to show their Crimson Pride.
"We just had to come thank the team for the way they represented the University of Alabama this season," said Margaret Lloyd, whose family drove over from Columbus, MS. "I don't think I have ever been prouder of how Alabama defied all the supposed experts".
As Coach Saban descended from the aircraft his attention was drawn to the loud crowd cheering "Roll Tide" and yelling "We love you".
Without an umbrella and carrying his bag over his shoulder Saban strode in the steady rain to the barbed wire topped security fence to acknowledge the crowd. "Thank you so much, it means so much for you to be here," he said several times as he walked down the fence waving to the crowd.
Alabama had been a five-point underdog at kickoff, but they ended UGA's 29 game win streak and put themselves into a position where the CFP Committee must give the most improved team in the nation playoff consideration. Afterall, they defeated four top 25 teams and lost only to Big12 Champion and 7th ranked Texas back in the second week of the season. The Tide will now wait to see if their name is called for the playoffs or if they will be sent to a New Year's Six Bowl game.
Bama team and fans will be glued to their televisions Sunday. All ESPN platforms will dedicate nearly 20 hours of live studio coverage to College Football Playoff Selection Day, including the reveal of which teams will face off in the 2023 College Football Playoff during the College Football Playoff Selection Show at 11:00am CST.