Alabama Football: What was learned from the Auburn game

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

Some fans are calling the Alabama Football win over Auburn one of the greatest-ever Iron Bowl victories. Auburn fans could call it ‘The Disaster in the Pasture’ but few of them are likely to appreciate the rhyme or the irony.

The Alabama Football program has labeled it ‘The Nightmare in Jordan-Hare.’

Crimson Tide fans may admit that after the bad snap, Bama’s winning prospects looked bleak. It was a near-miracle win all Alabama fans will celebrate for a long time.

Nick Saban will make sure his football team understands it was almost a stunning loss. A loss that would have resulted in no chance to achieve what Alabama fans measure as success – a National Championship.

The 88th Iron Bowl was a great win for the Crimson Tide against not a great team – and in some ways, not even a good one. The Tigers are to be commended for their toughness and determination. They have had some other tough losses this season, to both Georgia and Ole Miss by a single touchdown. There was little doubt leading up to Saturday that Auburn would not be the team that lost to New Mexico State the week before. They were not, but the Tigers are at best a top 30 team that no National Championship contender should struggle against.

After the Auburn game, ESPN’s Chris Low asked Nick Saban if the game was a microcosm of the season, not playing consistently throughout games. Saban’s answer was,

"That is what we have done all year. We’ve come from behind many times, made plays when we had to make them … this game today speaks volumes for the competitive character of these guys and the resiliency they have to keep fighting in a game…And, it should be a lesson for everybody in life, overcome adversity, if you’ve got the ability to do that, you have a great chance to be successful."

Alabama Football and Adversity

Of course, Nick Saban is right. But he would agree that for football teams, overcoming adversity a team places on itself is not a winning recipe. Especially against opponents of like talent and ability.

Against Auburn, Alabama at least once took touchdown points away from itself. The Crimson Tide defense allowed Auburn running backs to gain an average of 7.41 yards per carry. By itself, that stat is troubling. What makes it worse is the Alabama football staff and probably almost every Crimson Tide fan knew Auburn’s only potent offensive weapon was its running game. Take the ‘make it worse’ a step further, and consider that Auburn did that to the Tide defense behind an offensive line that is not as good as Georgia’s. As in, not nearly as good.

Along with the Bulldog’s offensive line being better than Auburn’s, Georgia has a potent passing attack.

No argument is made here that Alabama cannot beat Georgia. The Crimson Tide can, but that does not mean it will. A Tide win will require Alabama’s most complete game of the season, against the best team it has faced.

Note: Player stats from Stat Broadcast

Next. If only the Playoff was about the four best teams. dark

Some Crimson Tide fans may consider this line of thought unduly pessimistic. But Nick Saban set the tome immediately after the game, saying “when you win and don’t play well, that might not be a good thing.” If the Alabama football team heeds that message, it will become the SEC Champion, if not …