Whether you're an optimist (“We still have Nick Saban!”) or a pessimist (“This was the beginning of the end!”) about Alabama football probably hinges on how many total points you thought swung about on two poor decisions and throws from QB Tua Tagovailoa, and Alabama's response to it.
Whether it's fair to either player or not, Alabama's playoff semifinal against Oklahoma is going to serve a second purpose: It will be a referendum on whether Heisman Trophy voters got it right when they picked Oklahoma's Kyler Murray over Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa.
Among the questions that arose immediately following Alabama's win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff was one of longevity – both in regards to Alabama's already-extended position at the top of the sport, and also in regards to Nick Saban's remaining career. If early returns on the 2018-2019 recruiting trail are any indication, both paths have a lot of miles remaining on them.
This year, Alabama gets a Clemson team that is somewhere in between the last two versions. The question is how much like Clemson '17 can Alabama make Clemson '18 look.
Disclaimer: This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded....
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This isn't Bret Bielema's Arkansas anymore, and for a couple of years at least, it's not going to be fun to be Chad Morris; The SEC's most momentum-driven team gets a chance to boost its championship hopes early with an opener against Washington; Most observers think there's a chance the wheels come totally off the Ed Orgeron circus this year; TideFans is outright calling it to happen.
Statistically, a person who didn’t watch this game would look at the numbers and suggest Alabama and Oklahoma were evenly matched teams, which is understandable. Anyone who watched the game and still asserted such, however, are the same people who are likely to believe salmon ice cream with Brussels sprout gravy makes a good dessert.
Where do you go in trying to analyze a game that finished up as a 62-7 beatdown? When the defeated opponent insists on changing mascots every couple of years and is currently promoting something called a “landshark?” When a team's wide receiver corps refers to itself as the “NWO” while its defense is MIA?
Two major upsets caught the Predictions Dept. off-guard last week, especially LSU's defeat of SEC East-leading Georgia. The bigger surprise, though, might have been a horrid Tennessee team knocking off an Auburn squad that started the year ranked inside the top ten. This week, Auburn, which suddenly doesn't have much of an offense, has to hold off an Ole Miss team that has no defense. Outside of the LSU-Mississippi State, it's the most intriguing game on this week's schedule.