The Season Ain’t Over, But Alabama Still Has a Treacherous Path

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and Alabama Defensive Coordinator / Inside Linebackers Coach Pete Golding discuss strategy during practice at Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in Tuscaloosa, AL on Monday, Oct 17, 2022.

Whenever Alabama loses a game, the sky is falling in Bama nation for a little while. It happened after the Texas A&M game last season, and it is happening now after the devastating loss at Neyland Stadium on Saturday for the first time since 2006. While Alabama certainly needs to regroup, figure a lot of things out, and improve as a team, this season is far from over.

That being said, it would be foolish to assume that this Crimson Tide team will simply run roughshod over the rest of the schedule, go 11-1, and make the SEC Championship game in Atlanta either against Georgia, or a rematch against the Vols depending on what happens in their matchup.

Not to mention the fact that even if Alabama can get it together and win out for the rest of the regular season, they likely will have to win the SEC championship in order to make the playoff. It’s the same situation they were in last season, with probably a tougher path this time.

Alabama has major issues that teams have exposed all season long, and while it seems like things are starting to come together on offense, Nick Saban and Pete Golding must fix the issues on defense. The pass rush has to be more impactful and the secondary cannot get torched like it was on Saturday, otherwise pass happy Mississippi State could give the Crimson Tide another scare.

Nick Saban stated openly to the media yesterday that he thinks his team played the game on Saturday a little bit “tight” and with some “anxiety”. Alabama still has to go into two very difficult road environments, at LSU (which will likely be at night), and at Ole Miss, where they have struggled in the past.

I don’t know what the answer is to fixing these issues, but it will be interesting to see how this team reacts to this loss. Will they rise to the occasion and play up to the standard that they are capable of? Or will they crumble and lose another game en route to perhaps the most disappointing season since Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa? Time will tell.