Opinion: Alabama’s Time Is Over – For Now


Disappointment. Dismay. Anger. Shock.

We all feel it in Bama Nation.

After the second straight crushing end to a season, we are left sitting in our collective stupor, wondering what went wrong and how it happened. It’s time to be honest with ourselves, however, and admit how it happened.

And I think the best way to sum it up is to provide a parallel from the great Jeff Daniels speech from The Newsroom (warning: some salty language) in which he is asked why America is the greatest country in the world. To which I ask, why is Alabama the greatest football program in the world?

It’s not the greatest football program in the world, professor. That’s my answer.

We had our run. It was great, with three titles in four years. But the rest of the country took note and they made it their mission to beat Alabama. And that mission has been accomplished.

The hurry-up, fast-paced offenses give the Crimson Tide fits. Sure, we have tried to modernize our offense, even bringing in wunderkind/public enemy No. 1 to helm it. But you are only as effective as the tools in your kit.

Yes, we are still a proud and storied program that is pretty much football royalty. But so is Southern Cal and Michigan and Notre Dame, whether we like to admit it or not.

We bring in great recruits to an amazing facility. But so does Oregon and Ohio State and TCU and Auburn and 50 other top notch programs that can be at the top of the college football landscape in a season’s notice.

It’s time we accept the fact that our great, vaunted program, which can churn out 10-win seasons pretty much by making sure we’re there by kickoff, cannot simply walk through the football season and expect to be at the top of the mountain at the end of the season.

Things evolve, and college football has seen one of its greatest evolutions in a short period of time. Defense may win championships again one day, but offenses rule the landscape today.

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Transport this year’s team back to Bear Bryant or even Gene Stallings and you have a team that’s winning every game by 50 and rushing for 300 yards per. But we’re not at that time. Killer defensive backs and sniper/sprinter QBs are the here and now, and we have neither. I love the Blake Sims story as much as anyone, and Saban and Kiffin got amazing results with what they had to work with. But you have to admit, it’s exactly that – what they had to work with. Of the four QBs in the playoffs (and several on the outside looking in), Sims, despite his accomplishments and how much we like him, is at the back of the pack.

The first step in solving any problem is realizing there is one. Alabama is not the greatest football program in the world now.

But it can be.