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.
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.
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.
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 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.
This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.
Sometime close to the moment I snapped this picture a thought occurred to me. There will never be this many people at an Iron Bowl again. Next year’s game is in Auburn, where the stadium capacity is around 87,000. By the time it returns to Tuscaloosa, Bryant-Denny will be in the middle of a renovation that will add more bells and whistles and expensive hangouts for those with the cash and inclination to enjoy such.
One of the great challenges of watching the 2018 Alabama football team play is convincing people that when the offense, directed by Tua Tagovailoa, is capable of scoring points at will, there remain significant areas of concern that could affect Bama's march back to the college football title game.
Is this matchup for real? Is LSU capable of slowing Tagovailoa down? What is reality for the LSU offense – is it the 36 points scored against Georgia, or is it the 19 put up against Mississippi State and Florida? LSU's best output of the season – 45 points against defense-illiterate Ole Miss – ties for Alabama's second-lowest of the season, a win over Texas A&M that left some people wondering what was wrong with Bama football.