Here we sit the day after the loss. It’s hard to identify what went wrong and why since the shock of the game is still fresh on the mind, but it is necessary in order to move on as a program. After beating Tennessee like a drum, most people felt like life couldn’t get any better. Turns out they may have been right.
What allowed this to happen? Was it player attitude alone, or is there something more? At this point, I’m just going to start talking until life makes sense again.
I personally believe that Saban may have just decided to wait for attrition to take its course in order to get rid of some bad attitudes people chose to ignore. After losing to Mississippi State, Saban sounded like he was just waiting for the season to end as soon as possible. We’ve heard people like Paul Finebaum talk about how Saban felt there was some major flaw with this group of players that he would never admit publicly. Now, it has come back to bite him in the butt.
I don’t know if this is the true reason or not, but it makes the most sense to me. If true, then that is a poor style of coaching, for which Saban has no excuse. I liked Mike Shula, but we all know that he had an issue with discipline (not really punishment, I’m talking actual mental discipline). At first, I think Coach Saban tried to install mental discipline with the players, and it did work with certain players. But, he came into a volatile situation and really didn’t have the energy to deal with it after his time in the NFL. So, he started to rely on the attrition theory (once I get my recruits in, we’ll get rid of this issue).
But that is not how you fix this situation. Yes, it is a major part of rebuilding a program’s mentality, but there is more than we’re really just lacking right now. It all came crashing down in the locker room after Mississippi State, and this is the result of that crash. For all of the good Saban has brought, this is the major deficit in this season’s coaching by ignoring the biggest issue this program must deal with. The Auburn streak doesn’t matter, the ULM loss won’t matter, because in the end, this is the biggest issue that we must remove if we are to move on as a program.
I think Saban can, and will, right the ship in the future. I hope he and the team leaders realize that this was a wake-up call to do everything the right way. Saban has been harping on the players all season long, so maybe I’m just really off and there is something else the Coaches aren’t doing that I don’t know about. After seeing that performance, I refuse to talk about bowl games since we don’t deserve one.
It’s really too late to save a majority of this season, although it would be nice to beat Auburn. I doubt it’ll happen, but I also doubted that Alabama would hand the game to ULM. Still, we’ll probably lose by about 14 points, if not more. This season was meant to be a wash season from the start, but it’s a bittersweet wash. I guess it is also worth mentioningn that if Saban lands Julio Jones, I doubt you’ll find an angry Alabama fan for a few weeks. Recruiting is what we need, so we should focus on that first from here on out.