Is Alabama tumbling from the top of the football world?
After the Crimson Tide’s 43-37 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday, some college football experts are starting to say that which, up til now, shall not be said: The inevitable decline may be upon us.
Sporting News’ senior writer Matt Hayes makes this assessment in a Sunday column: “This is not the Alabama team that dominates and suffocates and eviscerates. This program, since late last season, stumbles and eventually crumbles in big games. Then makes excuses.”
Yahoo Sports’ Pat Ford continues with the “making excuses” line of reasoning, saying denial was in the air around the post-game Alabama locker room. “They didn’t beat us,” Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones said. “We beat ourselves.”
Which is partially true, Ford says: “The great Alabama teams didn’t suffer from those problems. They certainly were not a minus-five in the turnover department at home. They got quarterback play that was good enough to win, instead of just shaky enough to get the Tide beaten. And they never gave up the point totals that the recent Tide teams have surrendered.
And there’s more:
USA TODAY Sports’ George Schroeder points out that all college football dynasties look the same at the end: “At first, they are so mighty it almost takes something from the cosmos to strike them down. Then the veneer of invincibility gets stripped away... Before you know it, the run of excellence goes from difficult to maintain to impossible.”
Schroeder says Alabama has to be perfect the rest of the way, “which isn’t impossible but certainly seems unlikely.... Unless something drastically changes with this offense, the Crimson Tide are more likely to be reduced to a spoiler’s role by the time Nov. 7 rolls around against LSU.”