Losing hurts players more than anyone. But Monday night there was plenty of pain to go around among Alabama football fans.
The Alabama Crimson Tide overtime loss to Michigan was punctuated by failed play that ended the game. Almost universally Alabama fans were livid that the offensive play was a terrible call.
In his post-game review, Nick Saban pretty much agreed,
"The fact that it didn't work made it a really bad call."- Nick Saban
Saban explained that with the timeouts that preceded the final play, the Crimson Tide called three different plays. The last one will forever be criticized for being one of the worst offensive calls in Alabama football history.
But Alabama did not lose the Rose Bowl because of one failed play. According to Saban, it was what Alabama failed to do multiple times in the game. Saban's post-game review focused on two Crimson Tide failures.
"If you really analyze it, we didn't play well enough on defense when we needed to, and we had too many drive-stopping plays on offense."- Nick Saban
In his normal fashion of being gracious in defeat, Nick Saban congratulated and complimented Michigan. He added the game's outcome was not as much about the Wolverines, as it was about Alabama.
"I told them before the game ‘It’s going to be about what we do.’ And when you look back at it, it’s kind of about what we did and what we didn’t do."
Despite the disappointing outcome of the game and the season, Nick Saban heaped praise on his Alabama Football team.
"... this is one of the teams I will always remember most and be most proud of ... This team probably improved from the (USF) game and the Texas game early in the season as much as any team I've ever coached."- Nick Saban, reported by Stewart Mandel
The harsh reality is Alabama Football fought hard but not good enough to overcome six sacks and a couple of bad snaps that destroyed second-half momentum. It was not all the offense. Both sides of the ball contributed to Michigan having 10 tackles-for-a-loss to just one for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama was good enough to beat Michigan, but it could not do so while having to overcome so many of its own mistakes.