ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, an SEC football weather vane, had choice words this week for Alabama after the Crimson Tide lost to Tennessee on Saturday.
“I saw a lot of troubling signs,” Finebaum said about Alabama’s loss to Tennessee. “What I saw the most was a bad trajectory for Alabama. They are going the wrong direction.”
Earlier this season, Alabama needed a field goal at the buzzer to beat Texas, and it needed a big stop in the closing minute to get past mediocre Texas A&M. Bama nearly slipped away with another win at Tennessee, but the Tide missed a potential winning kick.
Perhaps even more shocking is that Nick Saban has been the second-best head coach in each of these games.
Bama usually finds a way to win when it shouldn’t, but this season, the best team in college football over the last decade has looked ordinary. It could cost Alabama a spot in the College Football Playoff.
How shocking would that be? Since the CFP began in 2014, Bama has appeared in seven playoffs, reaching the championship game six times and winning three.
“This is an undisciplined team. This is not a well-coached team,” Finebaum said. “I know who the coach is; he’s Nick Saban. But this is the third time this year that he has been outcoached by the other guy. Alabama could have easily lost three games.”
Bama has no time to wallow in self-pity. It faces a tough test against Mississippi State on Saturday, followed by SEC games against LSU, Mississippi and Auburn.
Could this be the year that the Crimson Tide falls flat?