Alabama Football: Flawed Tide still the SEC’s best

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

On the first, third Sunday in October in 16 seasons, Alabama football fans are not celebrating another win over Tennessee. For some of us with long memories, any loss to the Vols is magnified. When the Vols take down the Crimson Tide, it feels doubly bad, more like two losses than one.

There is, however, another perspective – and it is the more correct one. A 6-1 Alabama Crimson Tide still has ‘all to play for’ as the saying goes. Championship goals may be tarnished, but they are intact.

Most of the college football world, still giddy from an Alabama football loss, will rashly write off the Crimson Tide. Let them. What they are unwilling to admit is losing to Tennessee may be a blessing to the Crimson Tide.

Yes, a blessing, for a team that now must now learn all the whys and hows of beating itself. Alabama set a new Crimson Tide record for penalties against the Vols. There were 17 of them. More than the 130 lost yards, the penalties cost the Crimson Tide the game.

There is nothing to be gained by blaming what was, at least a few times, questionable officiating. Alabama should have never put itself in a situation where yellow flags could determine the outcome.

After seven games, the Crimson Tide is No. 131 in the FBS having committed 66 penalties. Without doing any research a good guess is no team, the worst in the FBS for penalties, ever won a championship.

So far this season the Crimson Tide is an enigma. It can be, at times, exceptionally good – and at other times astonishingly bad. The 2022 Crimson Tide has enough talent to run the table the rest of the way. It also has a risk of becoming a team most known for setting a new single-game record for penalties in a game.

There are reasons to hope a slap in the face by the Vols was what some Tide players needed. If only it was that simple. The Alabama football coaching staff, including Nick Saban, must own up to their own shortcomings. Tennessee was allowed to put some Crimson Tide players in situations they could not handle. Such mismatches cannot happen again.

Next. Crimson Tide Offensive Report Card. dark

The best advice for Alabama football fans is to step off the ledge and take some deep breaths. Don’t succumb to a second of worry when the Sunday polls are released. Better Sundays lie ahead.