I'm new here (or maybe I was dreaming when I wrote this) so forgive me if it goes astray...
A nice write-up on players to watch tomorrow from the Bleacher Report, but what I really love is his description of the scene at the '07 game. I was there and it still amazes me!
In Nick Saban's first spring Alabama fans without any advanced planning or intent filled Bryant Denny Stadium to its capacity. In fact estimates are that over 10,000 fans were turned away and flowed over the campus like a tidal wave.
Other schools have attempted to duplicate this feat via planning and marketing. Alabama fans did this spontaneously and without notice.
For those who witnessed the events of that day it is spoken of with reverence, like former hippies speak of Woodstock. It was amazing to watch administrators open one section after another as they filled to capacity. Soon word came through the stands that they had to shut the doors and folks were still coming.
When Nick Saban emerged with his team from the locker room it was pretty much like a fall game day crowed. When Nick took the Alabama job I think he viewed it simply as his next job. On that day, I believe he began to realize that he might be in a special place, at a special time. I believe the events of the last two years have confirmed that for everyone.
Also on that day most of what would become Alabama's first number one rated recruiting class were on hand to witness this explosion of fan enthusiasm. It affected each and every one of them. Just a few years later they were all standing in Pasadena with the National Championship trophy.
The coaches and players earned it all, but on that day I believe the fans themselves made a difference in how the next few years would go and in a small way they helped earn that National Championship.
Saturday will be another chance for Alabama fans to prove they are the most dedicated or obsessed in college football.