While in the press box at Cowboys Stadium Saturday night, I overheard two writers chatting after C.J. Mosley intercepted Denard Robinson and returned it for a touchdown in the second quarter to put Alabama up 31-0.
"This is an NFL team," one writer said to the other.
Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart would agree with that statement. In fact, he kind of said it in his own words during the Sun Belt coaches teleconference Monday.
"If you ask me, they're going to be the next expansion team in the NFL," he said. "They'll be that 33rd team in the NFL. They are loaded. Sometimes you look at those guys and say, ‘That's not fair.'"
The Crimson Tide embarrassed No. 8 Michigan 41-14 Saturday. If that's what this team does to a top 10 team, what will they do to a squad from the Sun Belt? Several opening lines in Vegas have the Tide as 40-point favorites against the Hilltoppers.
"Once again, Nick Saban proved us wrong," Taggart said. "He reloaded, restocked. Probably have another six guys on their defense who are ready for the NFL."
However, Saban doesn't want the media or anyone else to think his team is taking this weekend's home opener lightly.
"I know that y'all don't think they're probably very good, but they've won eight out of the last nine games and they're probably one of the better teams in the Sun Belt for this year, maybe even the Sun Belt champs eventually," he said. "They've got like 18 or 19 starters back from last year's team that won seven out of their last eight games."
During Monday's Alabama press conference, center Barrett Jones was asked about Taggart's comments regarding the Tide as an NFL team.
"Obviously he's kidding," Jones said. "I think most coaches this year, their strategy is to pump us up with compliments, which is great, but we can't really listen to what they are saying. We have to focus on getting better."
Maybe he was kidding, but it seems doubtful. Why would the coach of Western Kentucky be trying to play mind games with Alabama? It is borderline naïve to say the Tide are good enough to challenge the Green Bay Packers (as Taggart said) or the worst team in the NFL, but regardless, that just shows one glaring thing about this Alabama team—everyone thinks they're really good. And they are.
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