Alabama Football: Why the Tide dominates the SEC East

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /

Why does Alabama football play so well against the SEC East?

You can look at Alabama football’s dominance in plenty of ways. Saban has never lost to an assistant. The Tide haven’t lost to an unranked opponent since 2007. You can even say that Alabama football has more championships with Saban than almost every other school has ever won. However, the perspective that matters this weekend regards the SEC East.

Alabama has won 31 straight games against the SEC East. That’s the longest streak in SEC history. Their last loss was in 2010 when South Carolina upset the Greg McElroy-led Tide. Since then, Alabama has dominated, including at least one victory against every team in the SEC East.

Alabama has had plenty of success, but why specifically have they taken over the other division? It comes down to a mix of luck, circumstance and skill. Allow me to explain.

The circumstances are simple. Alabama football only has to play Tennessee every year. Every other team in the SEC East rotates to play the Tide. That means that they can’t recruit specifically to beat Alabama like SEC West teams can. They also don’t get into a rhythm. By an Auburn player’s senior year, he has played the Tide multiple times. SEC East teams don’t, and that makes it harder to know what to expect.

The only time Alabama is guaranteed to play the best in the conference is in the SEC Championship. While plenty of teams have kept it close, Alabama still has an advantage here. They haven’t lost an SEC championship game since 2008. The postseason is played on a neutral field, so Alabama doesn’t have to worry about a hostile crowd. Tide fans travel well, so they usually have an advantage in Atlanta.

There have been plenty of teams that have given Alabama a run for their money. Georgia has almost beaten the Tide a handful of times. Alabama has needed a blunder in the red zone, a miraculous comeback by Tua and a similar comeback by Jalen to beat the Bulldogs in the postseason. Georgia has played Alabama a few times in the regular season, but Alabama has pulled through since they won their first title with Saban.

dark. Next. Keys for Tide to beat Florida

This streak is impressive, and most of the credit goes to Alabama football. Regardless of the roster or the situation, they have remained consistently dominant.