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With All Thy Faults...

After falling to 6-6 with a disappointing loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, the hot topic for many Alabama fans has been whether or not Alabama will make a bowl game, and whether or not you would even want them to make a bowl game.

And honestly I cannot blame those who would rather just see the Crimson Tide sit out post-season play. Admittedly, this Alabama team is about the most frustrating I've ever seen, considering their almost unmatched ability to beat itself on a consistent basis. To watch that for four consecutive weeks is incredibly frustrating as a fan, and I can sympathize with those who don't want to see it yet again.

And then there are those who don't think Alabama should make a bowl game, and a smaller few feel that even if we are invited to a bowl that we should decline. With all due respect to those who hold those opinions, neither are particularly valid. The odds that we will not be invited to a bowl game are incredibly small. For all of the struggles we've had in the past month, Alabama still has a massive following that would buy a massive amount of tickets, would bring a ton of money into a local economy, and would also bring high ratings for some television network. With all of that in mind, Alabama will almost inevitably be invited to a bowl game. Moreover, we should not decline a bowl invitation. No we don't deserve a bowl game in an absolute sense -- nor does about 75 per cent of the teams that actually make a bowl game in the day of the proliferation of the bowl era -- but nevertheless it would be beneficial an we should take what we can get.

The odds are that we will go to a lower-tier bowl and play an opponent highly similar to us in terms of overall record. And, sigh, the odds are that we lose. If you cannot even beat teams like Louisiana-Monroe, how are you going to beat teams like Colorado or Tulsa? Unfortunately, the most likely scenario is that we make a bowl game, lose to a poor opponent, and finish with our first back-to-back losing seasons since before Paul Bryant came back to Tuscaloosa.

Nevertheless, with all thy faults, we should accept a bowl invitation and feel fortunate if we are able to attend. Though I know we'll probably lose, at this point a bowl game would be a godsend for us. Let's face the harsh truth of the matter: We need the practice time to get better. Getting a bowl game would essentially give us an extra spring practice period, and we could certainly use that. Though we have a ton of returning starters for 2008, every position on the roster will be up for grabs, and we've got a lot of work to get done. Again, though we'll most likely lose, if playing in another game which we are likely to lose can improve our team for the future, one more loss is a very small price to pay at this point. The goal should be improving the team in the future, not on making the present more acceptable.

And who knows? We might be pleasantly surprised by getting a bowl win, and that will give us some momentum heading into National Signing Day and off-season strength and conditioning work.