Tide Takes: Is the Dynasty Dead?

Every Monday right here you can read Tide Takes, where we’ll get into a different topic on the Crimson Tide, break down the previous game, preview the upcoming game, and everything in between. In this week’s edition, it’s time to break down the loss to Texas, talk about what went wrong, give takeaways from the game, and why it could spell doom for the rest of the season:

Well, that was a rough one wasn’t it? A double-digit non-conference loss at home marks the Crimson Tide’s earliest loss in a season since 2003. Texas dominated Alabama on Saturday night in all facets of the game en route to a 34-24 victory where all of the issues we worried about for the Tide during the offseason were on full display.

Naturally, much of the blame is going to fall on Jalen Milroe, and rightfully so. Milroe threw two back-breaking interceptions on mistakes that simply cannot be made in close games. That being said, while the quarterback issue was glaring, the issues went far beyond that.

In being completely fair to Milroe, perhaps the biggest issue of the night was offensive line play. 5-star freshman Kadyn Proctor was abused all night at the left tackle position. JC Latham did not look like the All-American he is supposed to be, and Milroe was under siege all night long.

Every problem that Alabama had last season seemed to still be there. Poor offensive line play, a leaky secondary, lack of consistent separation from the receivers, inability to limit an explosive offense. The only difference this year is that there is no Bryce Young to mask the weaknesses of this team.

All this being said, let’s give some due credit to Texas. Quinn Ewers is exactly as advertised and the Longhorns are a legitimate threat to compete for a championship this season. Alabama’s defense made some stops, but ultimately Ewers and the Horns passing attack was too much for the Crimson Tide defense.

It certainly was not the defensive collapse that say the Tennessee game last season was. But like we said in the preview, in a game where Texas made it a shootout, Alabama did not have a passing attack that was able to keep up.

Jalen Milroe did enough good things to stay in the game and not be pulled, and frankly, I would be surprised if a new quarterback is starting for Alabama next week. But the limitations Milroe has as a passer were glaring. He struggles when he has to look beyond his first read, and Texas was able to take full advantage.

So what does this spell for the rest of the season and the Alabama dynasty as a whole? The Crimson Tide now have lost five of their last twenty games to Power 5 opponents, while it took them a staggering 50 games to lose the last five prior to this.

Sure, you could read this as Alabama is still a team figuring itself out, Texas is extremely good, and Alabama can still get its season back on track. But with a gauntlet of an SEC schedule coming up and a need to almost run the table, things are not looking great for the Tide.

I cannot recall a loss over the last decade or so for Alabama that felt like such a statement as this one did. Texas came into Tuscaloosa and dominated Alabama at the point of attack, displayed superior offense, and had the Tide offense in the torture chamber the entire night. Every drive that Alabama did move the ball felt like a labor rather than the effortless domination of defenses that fans have become accustomed to.

The hard truth that Alabama fans may not want to hear is that the Crimson Tide are no longer “the standard” in college football. Again, it’s not to say the season is over by any means. But what Alabama put on the field on Saturday was flat out not good enough. Not good enough to win in the SEC, and unequivocally not good enough to win a championship.

With Ole Miss coming to town in two weeks, Nick Saban had better figure it out, and figure it out fast. If not, this season is going to fly off the rails.