Obviously, I'm never happy with a loss and I'm not one that really believes in moral victories, but I think I was as "happy" with last night's loss as I possibly could be when looking at the big picture.
Despite picking Bama to win in our Pick 'Em game (which I feel we are more or less obligated to do), I can't say that I was terribly shocked or upset by the loss. In other articles on this site Todd, OTS and myself all separately wrote about how we thought the Tide would likely suffer a loss at the hands of the Bulldogs. I was emotionally and mentally prepared for what ultimately happened. Since we had a chance to win it at the end, I was naturally disappointed that we didn't. I was especially bothered by the fact that we didn't gain one yard in OT and gave up the winning points on the first play of their possession, but that really isn't the point of this article.
I generally felt the first couple of series showed that we were in trouble and on both defense and offense. I don't know, just call it a "vibe" that I felt early on that things weren't going to go our way. The fact that Alabama was only down 10-3 at the half was pretty incredible considering how poor we looked. The team honestly didn't look much better for most of the second half and amazingly forced the game into overtime.
This is where the moral victory part comes in. Last year, this team would've quit. This year they haven't quit yet. They stole a victory from Arkansas and nearly did the same to Georgia. For a team completely incapable of a comeback a year ago, the last two weeks (despite a 1-1 record) are just more evidence of the massive mental shift that Coach Saban has achieved in Tuscaloosa.
Of course we want to win every game, but we aren't there yet and no one honestly should've thought that we were based on one very close win over Arkansas. Believe in the process though. We are seeing an overall upward trend. The team is winning games it shouldn't, forcing OT in games it shouldn't, the fans are more fired up than they have been in ages. Nothing in 2006, whether on the field or in the stands looks as good as what we've seen so far this year. Don't give up hope, don't get hyper critical, let's just all keep working at this. The players will work harder and we fans must work harder at supporting the players and tempering our expectations.
Of course I'd rather be 4-0 than 3-1 this morning, but I can also see that this ship is headed in the right direction. The loss was obviously tough, but look at the big picture and remember Coach Saban's words about "The Process." We can still hold our heads high today.