My beloved Crimson Tide's chances looked much better in early October when Arkansas crushed Auburn on the Plains just two weeks after Alabama beat the Hogs pillar to post before throwing away the victory at the very end. Since then, though, the best thing I can say about the Tide's season is that Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom is a very nice man, and I suppose it's good that someone saved his job, though I desperately wish anyone else in the world had. The Tigers had another Arkansas-style letdown last week, but I doubt coach Tommy Tuberville will allow them to turn in two such performances in a row.
An ailing Alabama will face long odds later today but still has what remains of its home-field advantage. Despite the increasingly common suggestions that his record-setting fourth straight Iron Bowl loss could cost Mike Shula the head coaching job, the chance that he'll get one more year (albeit with a markedly different group of assistant coaches) is fair unless Auburn blows the Tide out of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Whether he should be on the sidelines in 2007 is a matter we'll take up another day.
Here's hoping Alabama amputates the thumb later today. Either way, I'll still be on the crimson bandwagon.