Bama Is Singing The #8 Blues
Bama is out of the playoff contention for the 2nd since the playoffs started. How will this emotional hurdle affect the Crimson Tide?
Bama Is Singing The #8 Blues
To say that Alabama football has had a disappointing season would be an understatement. The Crimson Tide is the most successful football program in recency and has only missed one college football playoff tournament since the introduction of the format in 2014. The last time that Bama wasn’t one of the top four teams in the nation was back in 2019 when they finished the year holding the #8 spot.
The Crimson Tide enters week 12 of the college football schedule once again, the 8th-best team in the nation in a season that has been full of ups and down for this perennial powerhouse. With close losses to Tennesee and Louisiana State, the door has shut on any chances Alabama had at making a college playoff run and, with it, their shot at the 2022 national championship.
Looking Back at 2022
The Crimson Tide still have 2 games left in the regular season first, a game at home against Austin Peay, who is having a great season in the FCS, and then home against a floundering Auburn. The season is basically wrapped up with the playoffs being unobtainable and two easy opponents left on the schedule. The Tide is now playing for the prestige of the Bowl game they’ll be participating in.
The Tide started off strong behind the stellar play of quarterback Bryce Young who has put up pretty good numbers despite having a bit of a stumble in the OT loss to LSU. The main issue for this Alabama team is the defense.
Though they have the 14th-best defense in terms of yards allowed per game, they stumble when it comes to protecting the red zone, as opponents are scoring touchdowns on about 79% of their trips to the red zone.
Red zone defense is a huge telling point of defense as it truly is tracking how the defense performs under the most pressure, and this year, Bama’s inability to force field goals cost them not just two very close games but also a shot at the national championship.
It’s a tough mental check for this Alabama team as the players there are used to being the best in the nation and came to Alabama because of Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide’s previous success. You don’t join Alabama’s football team without the expectation of playing for a national championship at the end of the year.
Now that championship aspirations are gone, what kind of team will we see the rest of the way from Alabama as they play for pride the rest of the way?
I still expect Alabama to put up really good performances proving that they still are a powerhouse in the college football landscape. However, Auburn may be hungrier coming into the Iron Bowl match-up at the end of the year as they are a team that focuses on beating Bama at the start of the year rather than looking to win a championship.
How could a bowl matchup against a team that sees their bowl appearance as a success rather than a failure go? The Crimson Tide are going to be preparing for teams with high emotional drive, and it will be up to Saban to keep Alabama with that same mindset.
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