They Had Their Chances. They Really Did.

They had their chances.  They really did.  One team even put it on a silver platter for them, but they couldn’t make a play.  Will the 2022 Alabama Crimson Tide be remembered for not living up to expectations or missed opportunities?

According to Alabama was a +180 favorite to win the 2022 National Championship.  For comparison sake, the defending National Champions and #1 seed for the upcoming College Football Playoff, the Georgia Bulldogs were 3rd at +425 (Ohio State was 2nd +300)

Against Tennessee, Alabama’s defense was shredded and game management, if possible, was even worse.  I have no idea if Alabama wins that game in OT, but at the very least, Will Reichard should’ve been kicking as the clock was winding down to :00.  Instead, with :09 left, Hendon Hooker found Bru McCoy for 27 yds setting up the game-winning FG.

As for that silver platter, LSU’s Brian Kelly wanted no part of a second overtime.  When he tried for OT against Florida State in the season opener, they missed the PAT and lost.  This time Kelly decided LSU was going to win or lose the game on their terms.  LSU completed a relatively easy pitch and catch from Jayden Daniels to tight end Mason Taylor for a 2-point conversion and Alabama’s playoff chances basically ended that night in Baton Rouge.

Don’t forget Alabama called timeout prior to the 2-point play.  They had 12 men on the field before they called timeout and then still had 12 men on the field after the timeout, before Malachi Moore sprinted off the field.  Not exactly the execution/communication were used to from Alabama.

You know who did make play?  Kansas State.  Not once, but twice.  From the 1.  

Listening to the reasons why Alabama should get in compared to other teams is, well, a bit of a stretch.  Betting lines and their last three games seem to be the major talking points.  Starting with the former, I do think Alabama would be favored against TCU and is probably better than the Horned Frogs.  But the line has nothing to do with what happens on the field.  Alabama was favored in every game this season, losing a pair.  Of course, USC & TCU were both favored last weekend and both lost.  One, convincingly. 

I guess Head Coach Nick Saban is using the last three games as how a team is playing because the Tide won all three? Let’s review.

Alabama actually made a few plays late against Ole Miss for the win, but the Rebels ended up losing four of their last fives games.  

Does anyone think Alabama played particularly well against Austin Peay? And why is Austin Peay on the schedule to begin with? 

And in the Iron Bowl, Auburn was trying to salvage their season after firing their coach a month earlier, ran for over 300 yards against the Tide’s vaunted defense.

All in all, not exactly the gauntlet Saban thinks it is.

Make no mistake, this was a good Alabama football team.  Bryce Young is a special player that may go down as Alabama’s All-Time best quarterback.

But Alabama fans and Saban for that fact, don’t accept good.  They expect great and elite.  Neither of which Alabama showed this season. 

Thing is, they had their chances. They really did.