Alabama Football: Focusing on the game at hand

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football faces a rare scenario in which it is no longer in legitimate playoff or SEC championship contention in the second week of November. The Crimson Tide would need outside help just to win its own division. Even if it wins the rest of its games, Bama would need LSU to lose twice to regain control of the SEC West.

Most Alabama Football fans do not even want to see this iteration of the Tide in an SEC Championship game, and, frankly, the team does not deserve to play in a game of that magnitude.

Instead, Alabama has to keep its focus on finishing the season strong. In just a few days, it will play a game that may be even tougher than the one it just lost. Ole Miss has been a consistently good team for most of the season, and is currently ranked no. 11 in the AP and CFP Polls with an 8-1 record.

The Rebels should also be well-rested and well-prepared, as they are coming off of a timely bye week. They will welcome the Tide into a hostile environment in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and it has been well documented how poorly Alabama has played on the road recently.

Ole Miss will also be hungry. Bama appears vulnerable, and Lane Kiffin’s Rebels can certainly smell blood. Ole Miss needs to beat the Crimson Tide to keep its own SEC championship hopes alive. If the Rebels win out, they would only need LSU to lose one game to leapfrog the Tigers as the SEC West representative in Atlanta.

This week will not be easy for Alabama Football. The opponent and surrounding circumstances make this arguably Bama’s toughest game yet. Fans may hope that “good rat poison” and heavy scrutiny will motivate this team to play its best, but it has not responded to that kind of stimulus this year.

Alabama already had a loss heading into Baton Rouge, and had played poorly in several other games. If this team could be inspired by negative national perception, it would have put together a complete performance against LSU.

Regardless of external factors, Alabama football should be dialed in on Ole Miss. Its intention in practice this week should be eliminating the multitude of errors that have plagued it on both sides of the ball.

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Even if the result is not a championship, Alabama has to refocus, put a better product on the field in Oxford, and finish this season strong. The way Alabama closes out 2022 could potentially dictate how next season goes.