This is part two of a 12 part series recounting the 2010 football season game by game from a personal perspective. The games are being recounted, not in chronological order, but in order of least memorable to most memorable.
In recent years, every time a new schedule is released by the athletic department, we can more or less assume that the following formula will hold true regarding out of conference opponents:
- one marquee opponent
- two cupcakes
- one decent team or an additional cupcake
Needless to say, we play a lot of Sun Belt, C-USA and FCS teams for our cupcakes (insert Louisiana-Monroe joke here ______ opposing fans), so it's nice when we venture outside of those conferences and go cupcake hunting somewhere like the WAC for the sake of variety if nothing else. The Spartans definitely fit the cupcake mold seeing as they've only had two winning seasons since 2000. While there was nothing to be particularly excited about with this opponent, at least they were off the beaten path.
Despite a lackluster opponent, it was a notable day seeing as it was the debut of the new South Endzone expansion of Bryant-Denny Stadium. With this latest increase, the capacity was pushed to 101,821 making BDS the fifth largest college stadium in the country. This new expansion was commemorated on the game ticket as well (that championship ring was a nice touch as too):
I always love the first game of the year. I don't care if Alabama is playing Hillcrest High School, it's a festive occasion. This was the first time we'd opened the season with a bit of a dud since 2007 and while all eyes were on the Week 2 match-up with Penn State, there was still plenty of buzz in the air with folks wanting to set eyes on the gorgeous new additions to the stadium. I was at the game debuting the North Endzone expansion in 2006 and wanted to be at this one too (odd that they were both against WAC teams.) This was also the first time we'd opened the season in Tuscaloosa since 2007, so that put a bit more fun into the proceedings as well.
I was scheduled to work that Saturday until kickoff time. Despite knowing I'd miss the first half and that the game would be well in hand by the time I made it down there, I was still going to go and catch as much of it as I could. There are only 7-8 home games a year and if you can only make it to half of one, then you still go. That's my rule anyway.
My boss asked me that day where I was going to watch the game after work and I said, "I'm going to the game." Surprised, she said if things were slow late in the day, that she'd let me off early so I could make it down there and catch as much as possible of it and that I could make the missed time up later. To my good fortune, it was ridiculously slow that day and I was able to make it to the game about five minutes before kickoff. Much of what happened on the field that day was forgettable as evidenced by the fact that I had to look up the 48-3 final score. Of note though is that Mark Ingram was injured, but Trent Richardson more than ably filled his shoes. Marcell Dareus was suspended due to the "Agentgate" fiasco. No one was really worried about missing stars on either side of the ball seeing as the Tide were still picked by Vegas to roll and roll big. Winning by more than six touchdowns had everyone in a festive mood, but all of the post-game chatter was about how we'd match up with Penn State the next weekend.
Highlights from the game:
Countdown of previous installments: