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Turning Of The Tide: The Fall Of Goliath

Is this the beginning of the end? The Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama has been dominating college football for more than ten years, securing six national championships since 2009 and setting various records. As the 2023 college football season begins, many former players, experts, and fans, including myself, are starting to question whether the Alabama football dynasty is coming to a close. After a disappointing 2022 season, Alabama finds themselves in a bit of a bind after a week two home loss against Texas. Like all great dynasties, a time comes when the tide turns.

Coaching Changes:

Like most fans, my initial thought was that Pete Golding and Bill O'Brien were the cause of the issues, but it seems the new coaches (Tommy Reese and Kevin Steel aren't making much of a difference either. The sideline lacks the energy and passion it once had, and I believe it's due to coaching.

I've observed that the coaching just isn't as effective as before, resulting in players not being held accountable for their actions and lacking discipline. This could be attributed to the coaching staff, who also don't seem to be enforcing consequences. It raises the question of whether Coach Saban is responsible for this issue. I am concerned about the recent hiring of coaches like Kevin Steele and Tommy Reese.

It seems that Saban is using our coaching staff as a rehabilitation center for coaches who have not been successful elsewhere. Both Notre Dame and Miami were letting go of Reese and Steele, respectively, before they were hired by Saban. However, since these coaches have left, both teams have improved significantly.

While Saban might believe he can turn any coach around, what we need are coaches who can help develop our recruits. For example, Jalen Milroe has not shown any improvement from last year and does not seem to fit well with our offensive strategy. We need to focus on plays that work well with our quarterback, such as quick, read pass option plays, to get the ball to our playmakers.

Continental Shift In College Football:

The NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) has rapidly taken over college football for several reasons. Firstly, for those who are not aware, NIL allows student-athletes to make money from their personal brands while still studying in college. This financial incentive has attracted top talent to universities and brought more star power to the field. Moreover, the emergence of social media has amplified the reach of these student-athletes, making them more marketable than ever. As a result, companies and brands are keen to collaborate with these players, injecting significant resources into the college football ecosystem.

The combination of financial opportunities, enhanced player visibility, and a changing attitude toward athlete compensation has firmly established NIL as a game-changing phenomenon in college football. Saban just isn't adapting to the changes in college football, particularly about NIL. Other major programs in college football, such as Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee, have made significant investments in their programs, including their coaching staff and recruitment strategies. Consequently, opposing teams can now give Alabama a tougher competition, thereby making it difficult for the Crimson Tide to retain their supremacy.

It has come to light that certain states, such as Missouri, are enacting legislation to improve their chances of attracting talented individuals. To illustrate, Missouri has passed a law that permits high school recruits from within the state to obtain their NIL contracts as soon as they commit to attending an in-state college or university. If you decide to withdraw your commitment, you will be required to repay the money.

Defensive Struggles:

Alabama's defense was once known for its impenetrable strength, but in recent years, it has become weaker, resulting in opponents scoring more points. This has led to the team's offense having to take on more responsibility, causing fluctuations in their performance. I have observed that the defensive line is not as strong as it used to be and the team is not as physical. While I understand that the game has evolved, I miss seeing the big hits and sacks. During the last game against Texas, the pressure rate of the Alabama defense was the worst it has been since 2016. The defensive backs coached by Saban are not performing well, and the current teaching methods seem to be ineffective. Perhaps it is time for Saban to consider letting someone else coach the secondary position.

Can't Replace A Bryce Young:

Jalen Milroe and Bryce Young are very different. Young, who was a Heisman-winning quarterback is missed this year after becoming Alabama's first number-one draft pick. Replacing him this year is Young's former backup, Jalen Milroe. Milroe was named SEC player of the week in the first week versus Middle Tennessee State, but that was an exaggeration. Last weekend, Alabama suffered their first home loss in over two years.

Additionally, the team's struggles to find effective wide receivers to catch passes are adding to Milroe's difficulties. When teams like Texas stack the box and take away the running game, it's essential to have a strong passing game. Unfortunately, Alabama was unable to do so during last weekend's game. It seems that some adjustments need to be made in terms of play-calling to better fit Milroe's style, or perhaps a two-quarterback system like what Hugh Freeze and Auburn are currently implementing could be considered. Tyler Buchner will be starting against South Florida this weekend, and Milroe may only be utilized for short-running plays. If he is utilized at all.

Life After Saban:

Although it's not my preferred topic of discussion, it's crucial to start considering potential coaching hires. I've narrowed down my options to three individuals: Dabo Swinney, Deion Sanders, and Glenn Schumann. Both Dabo and Schumann have backgrounds with Alabama, and Deion is widely regarded as one of the best recruiters out there. Despite opposition from some Alabama fans, I'm open to the idea of bringing in either Dabo or Deion. I'd rock those sunglasses and cowboy hat if Deion came to town that's for sure!

I am a big fan of Coach Prime and his work in Colorado, but I believe that Glenn Schumann, the current defensive coordinator at Georgia, would be the ideal choice for us. Schumann has a strong background, having previously worked with Saban, and he joined Georgia alongside Kirby Smart. I am confident that Schumann can bring the necessary discipline to our program, which I believe will be critical to our success. In my opinion, of the three options, Dabo would not be the best fit for Alabama, as he might be limited in his ability to achieve success, similar to Mack Brown at North Carolina. To me, Dabo would only be able to win 10 games at Alabama because I don't believe he can build a good defense.

It is still early to determine with certainty, but there are indications that the Alabama football dynasty could be encountering some challenges it has not faced in some time. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that the team has exhibited resilience in the past and may be capable of adapting and maintaining its winning record in the future. With this in mind, college football enthusiasts will be closely observing how this esteemed program overcomes the hurdles it confronts. Additionally, did you know that Nick Saban has not experienced a home game loss by ten or more points since 2003 when he coached at LSU? During that year, his team went on to secure the National Championship.


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