Tide Takes: Just How Bad Are Things in Tuscaloosa?
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, Alabama is coming off of perhaps the ugliest win of the entire Nick Saban era, and even three weeks into the season, massive questions still remain at the QB position.
Let’s start this off by saying that this is not a lost season. Alabama has one loss, SEC play has not began yet, and the majority of the difficult games will be played at home. So no, it’s not a lost season. Yet. But the Crimson Tide have massive issues that cannot be ignored.
The quarterback play is obvious, but first and foremost, the issues on the offensive line are as bad as they have ever been under Nick Saban. Saturday’s game against USF almost looked like a complete lack of effort from the unit as a whole, with some even suspecting that the team was unhappy with the decision the bench Jalen Milroe and responded with a lackluster performance in protecting the quarterbacks who replaced him.
If there is one big takeaway from Saturday at the quarterback position, it’s that barring an injury disaster, Tyler Buchner should not take another meaningful snap in an Alabama uniform. No matter which QB you want to roll with moving forward between Ty Simpson and Jalen Milroe, freshman Dylan Lonergan should be the third option at this point.
As for the starter, the answer really depends on just how bad the offensive line truly is. If Saturday was a true reflection of the capabilities of the unit, then despite his limitations as a passer, Jalen Milroe may give Alabama the best chance to win games. Make no mistake, though, if that’s the case, Alabama is not going to win many games.
The highest ceiling as a passer in the room belongs to Ty Simpson. While the line did not help him out, Simpson needs to do a better job of getting the ball out quickly and avoiding sacks if he is going to be the quarterback.
The unfortunate reality right now is just that this Alabama team is just not very good. Not good enough to win a national championship, probably not good enough to win the SEC West, and maybe not even good enough to beat Ole Miss this week.
Given the response from the team following Milroe’s benching, I would expect Milroe to take the first snaps when Alabama takes the field this week. Tommy Rees needs to do a better job of putting Milroe in spots to mask his weaknesses and maximize his strengths, and if he can do that, Alabama will be able to win some games.
We knew the transition from the post-Bryce Young era was going to be difficult, but I don’t think anyone expected it to be a flat-out disaster like it has been.
It’s not a lost season yet. But it’s getting pretty close to that point.