Capital One Bowl Postgame Roundup

Whipping leaves Tide fans wondering what might have been: Jess Nicholas

Each game is its own cosmos, the stars circulating in different directions depending upon the course of each play. But it’s hard to imagine how Alabama could ever have lost to Michigan State. Alabama was noticeably bigger, faster and meaner. Michigan State’s supposed stars looked like Conference USA cast-offs. Alabama, finally healthy after a month off, looked like the miniature NFL team pundits were expecting to see when the 2010 season began.

So where was this Alabama team hiding? On the training table, mostly. Alabama, in 2010, had 13 starters either miss games or significant parts of games due to injury. On offense, they were Mark Ingram, Greg McElroy, Trent Richardson, Julio Jones, Barrett Jones, William Vlachos and D.J. Fluker; on defense, the walking wounded included Marcell Dareus, Courtney Upshaw, Kerry Murphy, Nico Johnson, Chris Jordan and Mark Barron. In addition, starting cornerback DeMarcus Milliner began the season recovering from a high ankle sprain, and fellow corner Dre Kirkpatrick fought through several maladies. These numbers don’t count role players such as Eddie Lacy, Demetrius Goode and Jonathan Atchison. Does anyone think this might have had some effect on the Crimson Tide’s chances at repeating as national champs?

Crimson Tide's finishes touch is smashing: Don Kausler, Jr.

"I believe we came out and played one of the best games we've played since I've been in a crimson jersey here," said Dial, a fifth-year senior.

"It was unbelievable. That's a great football team we played. We really did just go out there and physically dominate and impose our will. That was Alabama football."

'Bama dismantles Michigan State: ESPN

The 2010 might go down as a disappointment for some Alabama fans, but much of this Tide team could be back next season and another preseason No. 1 ranking is a definite possibility.

"There were just four of five plays in this season relative to what this team could've accomplished," Saban said. "And I think the maturity will help this team in the future. I think the leadership that will come from the lessons learned this season will be beneficial to this team in the future."

Alabama 'relentless' in win over Michigan State: Montgomery Advertiser

Alabama coach Nick Saban tried to call off the final play of the Crimson Tide’s pregame drills, waving his arms at his sides to no avail and pulling back when the ball sailed past his ear.

There was something that displeased Saban about the punt that always caps the pregame routine. Little more went wrong Saturday.

Alabama rejects Spartans' appeal for national respect, with prejudice: Matt Hinton

Since late October, when Michigan State's 8-0 start ran into a brick wall in an equally embarrassing, 37-6 loss at Iowa, the Spartans have been regarded as a good team that caught the right breaks against the right schedule (from which Ohio State was conspicuously absent) to wind up with a great record. Today was their golden opportunity to silence any and all skepticism about the gaudy win total against a wounded powerhouse that also expected to be playing for much bigger stakes at the end of the season, and the entire operation collapsed in a heap from the coin toss. Whatever they were hoping to prove, the only thing the rest of the country is going to take away is that they never really deserved to mentioned in the same sentence as the Rose Bowl.

Michigan State lost more than Capital One Bowl: Grand Rapids Press

So this is how Michigan State’s era of football dominance within its state borders ends, with a New Year’s Day hangover at a crummy stadium placed in a central Florida ghetto, a headache that will linger for years to come and alter the balance of power in Michigan college football once again.

Michigan State did nothing right in Capital One Bowl blowout: Detroit Free Press

It is hard to pinpoint exactly when this Capital One Bowl started going poorly for Michigan State, but it was probably the moment Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus was born.

Of course, it didn’t help when Mark Ingram signed with the Crimson Tide, or when Nick Saban took the Alabama job, or when MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins got slammed into the turf so hard that the stadium shook, or when Alabama’s locker room did not spontaneously combust.

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