The litany continued even as the Tide ran off 2017 regular season wins. Alabama was winning but not gaining style points. After another Auburn loss, there was a widespread argument the Tide did not deserve being in the 2017 College Football Playoff.
That nonsense was destroyed with another national championship run. And it was a run where defense again defined greatness. The comeback victory over Georgia forever cemented Saban’s Tide as college football’s greatest dynasty.
Was 2017 enough to at last stymie the naysayers? Not hardly. The predictions of a Tide demise began again when the 2018 recruiting class was only the 7th best in the nation. Suddenly the reigning National Champion was predicted to be on the verge of being overwhelmed by Georgia.
It just never ends. So-called experts predict future Tide failure. And Nick Saban keeps winning championships. It is fair to conclude the two feed off each other. Five national championships in nine seasons – when will ‘they’ ever learn to not doubt the Crimson Tide?
Ronald Evans at BamaHammer had some fun writing this one. He brings up every time the national opinion has called the Bama dynasty “dead,” only to be wrong yet again as Saban wins another championship.
If any game shows why the Tide could roll up in the Big Dance for the first time since 2012, it is the 78-50 demolition of Tennessee, ranked No. 15 at the time, this past Saturday. The Volunteers, who had won six in a row and nine of their previous 10, managed just 50 points against Alabama. It was their worst offensive outing in 2017-18, as they knocked down only 16 of 58 field-goal attempts (27.6 percent).
If Alabama (16-9, 7-5) doesn’t win the SEC tournament and the automatic tournament bid that goes along with the title, the Tide will be one of the most difficult teams to seed for the selection committee.
Led by Collin Sexton (18.5 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.8 rpg), a likely one-and-done lottery pick, the Tide ranks third in the SEC in defensive rating (89.57) but 11th among 14 league teams in offensive rating (109.40), shooting an abysmal 32.3 percent from 3- point range and 67.8 from the free-throw line.
I’m linking this piece before Alabama plays LSU on Tuesday night. I figure no matter the outcome of the game, the point of the article stands. The Tide’s basketball team just keeps beating good teams and losing games they shouldn’t. Some are saying we should have maybe a 7-8 seed. Others think we’re more in the 13-14 range. And I’m sure we’ll still be saying much the same thing a few weeks from now.
Looking at attrition based on talent rather than experience, cbssports.com projects the SEC teams hit hardest are Alabama football, LSU and Auburn. The Bengal Tigers have to not only replace running back Derrius Guice and linebacker Arden Key but their top two cornerbacks and three of five offensive line starters.
Auburn must replace LB , Jeff Holland and CB, Carleton Davis and two more DB’s, RB’s Kerryon Johnson and Kam Pettway, plus O-Line leaders Braden Smith and Austin Golson. Giving the returning numbers for Mississippi State and the player losses for LSU, Auburn and the Tide, some experts believe the Bulldogs could win the SEC West.
While the Tide may be rebuilding on defense, the offense should be explosive in 2018. Also, the Tide’s rebuild will be filled with former 4-Star and 5-Star recruits. Before Alabama football has a stern test in 2018, new starters will have gained the needed experience to excel.
Hmmm. Good thing the two most dangerous teams in the west are getting hit by attrition just as we are, huh?
Interesting little tidbit is that Alabama was ranked 103rd in the nation at the start of last year in returning experience... Before Terrell Lewis, Christian Miller, Shaun Dion Hamilton, and Hootie Jones all went out due to injury.
And still won a national championship.
Since it’s the offseason,
I’ve been clipping on an Alabama highlight video to the end of every Jumbo Package. For today’s highlight video of choice, I selected the entire 2013 BCS National Championship.
Enjoy your day, and Roll Tide