The University of Alabama football team marched into Fayetteville, Arkansas Saturday afternoon and sent a message with a 52-0 win over the Razorbacks: stop with the (your color here) outs. Organize matching t-shirts all you want, but when Nick Saban comes to town Crimson is the only color that seems to matter.
The color coordination began in 2008 against the University of Georgia for a battle with Bulldogs between the hedges. Bulldog nation was riding high with the number 3 ranking and two of the best players in the country in Quarterback Mathew Stafford and Running back Knowshon Moreno. As Georgia readied themselves for a chance to knock off the 8th ranked team in the country, they revealed the team would be wearing their special black jerseys.
Bulldog fans responded to the announcement with an announcement of their own: every Georgia fan inside the stadium would wear black and “blackout” the Crimson Tide. However, it was Alabama who turned out the lights with 31-0 lead at the half. Although the final score read 41-30, the game was never close.
Then came 2011 when the Tide made a trip to Happy Valley for a matinee with the Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State had long been on the cusp of taking the next step on the national stage and a win against Alabama would certainly propel them to new heights. Although the skies would be clear, the fan’s called for a whiteout in an attempt to rattle then sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron.
Screams rained down from the upper balconies of Beaver Stadium, but instead of becoming shaken, McCarron remained cool under pressure going 19-31 for 169 yards and a touchdown. While the performance not extraordinary, it showed that Alabama had stability under center as McCarron led Alabama to a 27-11 win.
History had proven itself, but University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long decided to tempt fate.
Arkansas had just come off a loss to the University of Louisiana Monroe of the Sunbelt Conference and his fan base was stunned. To make matters worse Tyler Wilson’s status was uncertain as Razorbacks fans began to wonder if they even had a chance. So Long did the only thing he could do.
He hopped on his twitter account and called for a “redout.” Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville fans showed up in force, true to their Athletic Directors wishes all clad in red, but the writing was already on the wall-it wasn’t going to be pretty. Then again to say a 52-0 loss at home isn’t pretty is probably an understatement.
The Saban era in Tuscaloosa has seen a “blackout”, a “whiteout” and Saturday Alabama experienced their first “redout.” However, opposing teams are finding out very quickly that the Crimson Tide do not care color schemes. Alabama is now 3-0 in those games, outscoring opponents 120-41.
Sometimes you just can’t stop the Tide; even if the fan base is all wearing the same colored shirts.