Sport: The Monday After: Nick Saban's Alabama has never looked so vulnerable heading into an offseason - - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

Sport The Monday After: Nick Saban's Alabama has never looked so vulnerable heading into an offseason

00:25  03 december  2019
00:25  03 december  2019 Source:   cbssports.com

Alabama vying to 'make a big statement' in annual Iron Bowl rivalry with Playoff in question

  Alabama vying to 'make a big statement' in annual Iron Bowl rivalry with Playoff in question Ahead of this week's Iron Bowl, and with the CFP in doubt, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is already doing some politicking: '(Auburn) is the best team we've played, probably, so far this year.'Even Alabama head coach Nick Saban didn’t mince words when discussing the importance of Saturday’s regular-season finale in Auburn.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban gave himself and his Crimson Tide team a According to The New York Times, Saban has "nothing left to prove" after winning his sixth national title. After all, I 'm passionate about golf, but I was never obsessed enough to practice 10 hours a day, which is what it

Nick Saban ’ s list of superlatives at Alabama is well-trod ground by now: the five national championships, the 11 straight seasons with at least some time spent at No. 1 in the rankings, the parade of five-star recruits who annually show up at his door to keep it all going. Monday night’s loss

It's December 2019, which makes it an opportune time to look back at the decade that will conclude at the end of the month. While Alabama won its first national title under Nick Saban in 2009, it truly established itself during the current decade by winning four national titles. It is the premier program of the decade. The one that set the pace, and the tone, for every other program with national title aspirations out there.

Nick Saban talking on a cell phone: Nov 30, 2019; Auburn, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts during the second quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.© Provided by CBS Sports

Nov 30, 2019; Auburn, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts during the second quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

But as we enter the 2020s, where does Alabama stand? It will enter the 2020 season in unfamiliar territory, as it will miss the College Football Playoff for the first time in its existence. It's about to finish two straight seasons without winning the national title for the first time since the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The only other time that happened during Saban's tenure was his first two seasons in 2007 and 2008. Of course, Alabama immediately followed the latest one with two national titles in three years.

Tua Tagovailoa's injury seemed to have doomed Alabama, but a sliver of hope remains

  Tua Tagovailoa's injury seemed to have doomed Alabama, but a sliver of hope remains Tua Tagovailoa's injury seemed to have doomed Alabama, but a sliver of hope remains

Alabama suffered the worst loss under Nick Saban against Clemson in the National SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on Alabama never looked so desperate or out of sync than the National Championship Game loss to

ATLANTA — Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban ’ s enduring paradox is that for all his historic One site ranked all of Saban ’ s losses at Alabama “by how happy they’ve made the world.” He of course looked thrilled Monday night right when his team dramatically won it all, beating Georgia in overtime

Can they do it again? You'd be an idiot not to think it was distinctly possible, and I'm not here to write about how the Alabama dynasty is over. I'm sure others are ready to make that proclamation, and they can go ahead and do so, but I'm not prepared to join them. That said, every dynasty ends at some point, and the program that dominated this decade will eventually pass the torch on to somebody else. That process might have already begun as Clemson has won two of the previous three titles and will likely have a shot at adding a third this year. All of which makes this a fascinating offseason to watch in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama just seems more vulnerable than ever before. In 2014 when it finished its second straight season without a title, the Tide at least reached the College Football Playoff where they lost to eventual national champion Ohio State. You looked at that team and knew it would be back.

Can Nick Saban’s Alabama defense withstand another Gus Malzahn-led Auburn assault?

  Can Nick Saban’s Alabama defense withstand another Gus Malzahn-led Auburn assault? With the introduction of his patented up-tempo offense, Auburn's Gus Malzahn is at least partially responsible for Alabama's Nick Saban eventually adopting a more wide-open offensive scheme following the disappointing 'Kick-Six' loss in 2013.

After winning his sixth College Football Championship, and fifth with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Nick Saban ’ s coaching stock can rarely have been Is it too weird to imagine Saban in the NFL again? In a Sports Illustrated piece last November, Albert Breer looked back on Saban ’ s two seasons with the

The central one: Has Saban finally met his match? At least on this night, one dynasty was dominated while another looks to have been born. For the Tide, Sweet Home Alabama is a 2,300-mile flight into an offseason of uncertainty. The uncertainty: How the hell are we going to beat Clemson?

The 2019 Alabama team was something I'm not used to seeing from Alabama. There were injuries on defense had a significant impact on its overall ability. It was also a young group, but as that youth gained experience, I never felt like I saw it improve. On Saturday against Auburn, it all came to a head as an Auburn offense that averaged 296 total yards in its games against LSU, Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M went for 354 against Alabama. An Auburn offense that averaged 4.24 yards per play against those same four teams averaged 5.45 yards per play against Alabama.

It's an odd feeling to be watching an Alabama game in which the Tide need one defensive stop, and you aren't confident they can get it. It's just as odd to see an Alabama team lack discipline, but the 13 penalties against Auburn was nothing new in 2019. The Tide finished the regular season averaging 7.5 penalties per game, the most in the SEC. They'd never averaged more than six per game in any season under Saban.

How 'unfair' special teams substitution cost Tide playoff shot

  How 'unfair' special teams substitution cost Tide playoff shot How 'unfair' special teams substitution cost Tide playoff shot

Alabama coach Nick Saban has several ideas on how to improve the college football schedule This year marks Nick Saban ’ s 11th season with the program, a period of dominance that places this era But there will be far fewer losses this offseason than a year ago, so look for Ohio State to be loaded

Alabama Coach Nick Saban , left, and Jalen Hurts, the Crimson Tide’ s sophomore quarterback, after winning the Sugar Bowl on Monday and advancing It has preferred quarterbacks who are not at the center of its offense. That team is this era’ s great dynasty, Alabama . The two recent Heisman winners

Also, as is usually the case with Alabama, it will have to reload in 2020. A lot of the defense will be back, and you'd hope the experience gained this year will help it improve. But it was the offense that led this team in 2019, and it's the offense that will lose so much.

Jaylen Waddle, who scored four touchdowns in the Iron Bowl, and at times seemed to be willing his team to victory on his own, will be back. That's great news for Alabama and college football fans in general. We can't say the same about his fellow receivers Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith or Henry Ruggs. All three are juniors, and all three have NFL futures they might like to start on. Running back Najee Harris is likely gone as well, and he'll probably be joined by starting tackles Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills. Landon Dickerson is a grad transfer, while guard Deonte Brown is a redshirt junior. Alabama may need to replace four offensive linemen, its three leading receivers, and its leading rusher.

Oh, and Tua Tagovailoa is likely gone, too. His status is now somewhat cloudier after his hip injury, but most expect him to still make the jump this spring.

What Trevor Lawrence said about Tua Tagovailoa still being in game when injury happened

  What Trevor Lawrence said about Tua Tagovailoa still being in game when injury happened Alabama coach Nick Saban received some criticism after Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending injury Saturday afternoon against Mississippi State. Tagovialoa suffered a dislocated hip after taking a hit with Alabama leading 35-7 late in the second quarter, leading some to question why he was still in the game. Saban explained afterward that Alabama wanted to get Tagovailoa some work in the two-minute drill. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the potential No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, understood the reasoning and explained how the Tigers make decision as far as when he is pulled with a big lead.

Alabama coach Nick Saban is happy after the Crimson Tide' s fifth national championship in his 11 So look , my responsibility and obligation to the two players is to be fair and honest with each player Q: If Alabama had not gotten into the Playoff last season — and obviously they chose y’all over Ohio

— The moment you knew that Nick Saban knew what was happening to his team arrived with the And unlike any game he had ever coached since bringing Alabama back to superpower status, he The College Football Playoff turned five years old Monday . The national championship count in this

Alabama will enter the 2020 season with questions on both offense and defense, and it will do so in a conference that has seen LSU take a step toward dominance itself and will likely be a playoff team this year. Georgia could make the playoff for the second time in three years itself. Auburn and Florida aren't going away, either, and Texas A&M is recruiting like a team that could soon take a step forward.

The Alabama dynasty isn't over, but it's vulnerable.

Stat of the Week

One of the side effects of being a dominant team like Alabama is that everyone is always looking for a reason to bury you. In that aspect, Alabama has a lot in common with the New England Patriots. Any time the Patriots lose a game or two, people wonder if the dynasty is over. So when Alabama lost on Saturday and the Patriots lost on Sunday, it led me to wonder when the last time the two teams had lost on the same weekend since losses seem so rare for both.

To find the last time it happened, you have to go back a while. On Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, Alabama lost to LSU 9-6 in a game you might remember. It was the last time Alabama had lost to LSU before this season. The next day, the Patriots lost 24-20 to the New York Giants. That same year, Alabama would reach the BCS Championship and avenge its loss to LSU by beating it 21-0. New England would reach the Super Bowl where it would face the New York Giants again, but it could not get revenge, as it lost again, 21-17.

AP Top 25: Alabama out of top 5 for first time in 4 years

  AP Top 25: Alabama out of top 5 for first time in 4 years Alabama dropped to No. 9 in The Associated Press college football poll, snapping the Crimson Tide’s record streak of 68 appearances in the top five. The top four teams in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank were unchanged, with LSU at No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia. Utah moved up to No. 5, followed by Oklahoma, Florida and Baylor. The Crimson Tide lost to Auburn in a wild Iron Bowl on Saturday to give it two regular-season losses for the first time since 2010. The four-spot drop by Alabama broke a string of top-five appearances that began Nov. 8, 2015.

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has led his college football teams to five national title championship wins, without losing a single national title game as Miami Dolphins fans still despise Saban for ditching the team after promising that he would remain as the NFL franchise' s head coach.

As Nick Saban walked off the field Saturday night, he had plenty to be happy about. His Alabama opened yet another season with national title plans by plastering Louisville, 51-14. Most importantly, Tua Tagovailoa looked spectacular and every part the Crimson Tide’ s top QB.

So, basically, Alabama and the Patriots lose on the same weekend as often as LSU beats Alabama.

Swaggy Kicker of the Week

Last week, FIU's kicker was doing the throat slash as he buried Miami in a baseball stadium, and this week, Iowa kicker, and Lou Groza Award finalist, Keith Duncan is blowing kisses to a Nebraska team whose season he just ended. Considering how often kickers are missing these days at both the college and NFL level, I guess they've learned to cherish the moments they make it.

Ridiculous Theory of the Week

You ever get an idea that you realize is ridiculous, so you pass it off as a joke when sharing it with others, yet there's still a part of you that very much believes it to be true? Well, here's one for you.

On Sunday, there was a report that USC was parting ways with Clay Helton. The story was refuted by other reporters (including one from the same outlet reporting it!), and as I write this, Clay Helton is still USC's coach. That doesn't mean he will be in 2020, however, because USC has had plenty of time to come out and say he'll be back, but it hasn't. This leads me to believe that USC has a couple of possible candidates in mind, and it wants an answer from them before it makes a definitive judgment on Helton.

For instance, if USC were to approach somebody like, say, oh, I don't know, Urban Meyer, and Meyer told USC, "I want the job," Helton would be gone quickly. Does Urban Meyer want the job? I don't know. Does USC want Urban Meyer? I don't know, but probably.

Jones, No. 5 Alabama rout Western Carolina, 66-3

  Jones, No. 5 Alabama rout Western Carolina, 66-3 TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Mac Jones passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns in little more than a half and No. 5 Alabama began life without Tua Tagovailoa with a 66-3 romp Saturday over FCS Western Carolina. With Tagovailoa watching much of the game from a cart behind the bench, the Crimson Tide (10-1) treated its injured quarterback to a one-sided show against the Catamounts (3-9). Alabama is ranked fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings and hoping to somehow make the field despite failing to win the SEC West.This one was about taking care of business five days after Tagovailoa underwent surgery on his right hip.

Have you ever seen staff turnover like Alabama has had this offseason ? Especially the past three seasons combined. We actually saw a more drastic one- season example just last year. Alabama has lost defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt (now Tennessee’ s head coach), offensive coordinator Brian

Alabama coach Nick Saban is looking ahead to Week 1 college football showdown against Florida State. The Week 1 college football showdown between Alabama and Florida State won’t lack any buzz heading into the 2017 season , potentially pitting the nation’ s top two teams against each other.

Well, I couldn't help but notice Boston College fired Steve Addazio on Sunday, and South Florida fired Charlie Strong. Addazio was an assistant at Florida under Meyer for six seasons, including four as assistant head coach and two as offensive coordinator. Strong was Meyer's defensive coordinator at Florida for five seasons (he was also the interim coach between Ron Zook and Meyer) before leaving for Louisville.

Meyer is out there. His old offensive coordinator is out there. His former defensive coordinator is out there.

URBZ IS GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!

Do I really think this is happening? No. Do I kind of think this is happening? Definitely.

Dancing Coach of the Week

You know what they say: "Dance like you're somebody who is old enough that nobody will judge you for it."

Stat of the Week II

Just in case you thought that it only felt like Alabama missed more field goals than other teams because it's missed so many in key moments ... nope. Alabama just misses a lot of field goals, even when you aren't watching.

Tom Fornelli Team of the Year Dropouts of the Week

Beginning in 2019, The Tom Fornelli Team of the Year Award, presented by The Tom Fornelli Foundation For Football Exceptionalism, is to be given out to one incredible football team that best displays the values of The Tom Fornelli Foundation For Football Exceptionalism. Every week, teams will be eliminated from the running for reasons. Those reasons are at the sole discretion of Tom Fornelli and The Tom Fornelli Foundation For Football Exceptionalism, which is comprised of Tom Fornelli and nobody else. Here are the teams eliminated from consideration in Week 13.

Nick Saban: Tua Tagovailoa is 'in good spirits and he's doing well' after hip surgery

  Nick Saban: Tua Tagovailoa is 'in good spirits and he's doing well' after hip surgery Alabama's Nick Saban says injured QB Tua Tagovailoa has 'always been a great guy to overcome adversity and he’s got a really positive attitude about it."In the days following Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending hip injury last Saturday that required surgery Monday morning, Saban has been in regular contact with last season's Heisman Trophy runner-up. That includes on Tuesday, while Tagovailoa was still laid up recovering in a Memorial Hermann hospital bed following Monday morning's surgery in Houston.

Nick Saban ’ s Alabama has never experienced a whupping like this. That was also a few moments after he sent the world a hint that maybe he was as reluctant to scare up a fight Monday night as his Later, Saban looked as shell-shocked as Liston and Duran, shaking his head , muttering about how

School

Reason for Elimination

Alabama

You didn't want this award anyway.

Minnesota

In high winds, boats require sails, not oars.

Oregon State

If you'd reached a bowl game, you would have won.

Western Michigan

That loss to NIU was more costly than you knew.

Wyoming

I can't believe you didn't cover against Air Force.

Teams eliminated: 124 / 130

Teams remaining: Boise State, Clemson, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio State, Utah

For a full list of eliminated teams and the respective reasons, click here.

Eye Black of the Week

Do we know for a fact that it was Virginia linebacker Zane Zandier's eye black that ended the Cavaliers losing streak to Virginia Tech? No, but we can't prove it wasn't, either.

AP Voters of the Week

This week's recipients of the prestigious AP Voter of the Week award are two who have been here before. They are The Albuquerque Journal's Steve Virgen, and Soren Petro of Sports Radio 810 in Leawood, Kansas. Why are they here?

Because they're still out here putting 7-5 Iowa State on their ballots! Virgen had the Cyclones at No. 23 on his ballot, while Petro placed them at No. 24.

Iowa State has played three teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 poll (Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa). It has lost to all three of them. It has also lost to two teams receiving votes (Oklahoma State and Kansas State), and that Kansas State loss just came on Saturday. Virgen responded to that loss by not moving the Cyclones at all on his ballot, while Petro dropped them from No. 22 to No. 24.

Iowa State's best win is Texas, as Texas is the only bowl-eligible team it has beaten this season. Not counting Northern Iowa (a solid FCS program), the combined record of the teams Iowa State has beaten in 2019 is 24-36.

So congratulations to Mr. Virgen and Mr. Petro for being so damned stubborn about their insistence that Iowa State is a top 25 team no matter the evidence placed in front of them, and congratulations to Iowa State on being the new Texas A&M. I mean, not even the Aggies received a vote this week, and three of their five losses came to teams ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll at the time.

College Football Playoff Projection of the Week

  1. Ohio State
  2. LSU
  3. Clemson
  4. Georgia

Until the next Monday After!

Related slideshow: 2019 college basketball season (Provided by imagn)

Ed Orgeron et al. posing for the camera: LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron celebrates with his players after defeating the Texas A&M Aggies at Tiger Stadium on November 30, 2019.

Nick Saban: Tua Tagovailoa is 'in good spirits and he's doing well' after hip surgery .
Alabama's Nick Saban says injured QB Tua Tagovailoa has 'always been a great guy to overcome adversity and he’s got a really positive attitude about it."In the days following Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending hip injury last Saturday that required surgery Monday morning, Saban has been in regular contact with last season's Heisman Trophy runner-up. That includes on Tuesday, while Tagovailoa was still laid up recovering in a Memorial Hermann hospital bed following Monday morning's surgery in Houston.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 2
This is interesting!