The Monday After: No. 1 Alabama is actually trash, and the Tide apparently need to know it
A look at the weekend that was in college football while fulfilling a Nick Saban request
No. 1 Alabama beat Texas A&M 45-23 on Saturday to improve to 4-0 on the season. The defending national champions have averaged 53.75 points per game so far this season while outscoring the two SEC opponents they faced 107-30 in two games. When the new AP Top 25 was released Sunday, Alabama remained on top, garnering 60 of the 61 first-place votes. Clearly, the AP voters did not listen to Alabama coach Nick Saban following the Crimson Tide's win over the Aggies.
Saban had a simple plea for the media.
"We've got a good team, but our team needs to do a lot of things to improve," said the six-time national championship-winning coach. "If what our team has accomplished to this point makes them in any way not take into account the kind of teams that we have to play in the future, and they underestimate what we need to do to improve so that we can become a better team, and don't just take things for granted [that's a problem]. That we're going to show up because we've got an Alabama uniform on, and win the game, it's not going to happen that way. And it's going to be everybody's choice in the organization.
"So I would appreciate it, if you would, you know, sort of look at some of the things we didn't do well and write about that, so maybe I can show it to the players and say, 'Look here, man: Here's something you can do better.'"
Well, all right, Nick. If it makes you happy.
Alabama sucks. That's right, I said it. Sure, it may be 4-0, but who has it even played to this point? It's beaten up on Louisville, Arkansas State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Those four teams have combined for 10 wins over such stalwarts as Southeastern Missouri, Tulsa, UNLV, Northwestern State, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas Tech, Southern Illinois, Kent State, Indiana State and Western Kentucky. I mean, Virginia beat Louisville, too, but I don't see anybody rushing to rank the Cavaliers because of it.
I'm supposed to accept my fate and give in to the inevitable heat death of the college football universe that is Alabama just because it scored 62 points against a team that allowed 41 points to Southern Illinois? I don't think so.
Oh, and what if I told you that Alabama might have beaten Texas A&M by 22 points, but it didn't even cover the spread? If this team is so good, then why didn't it win the game by as many points as it was supposed to? Isn't exceeding expectations what champions are supposed to do?
What a trash effort by Alabama. I mean, have you even looked at the box score?
- Tua Tagovailoa threw eight incompletions, including one on a third down. Trash.
- Alabama only rushed for 109 yards as a team on Saturday. Trash.
- Isaiah Buggs had three sacks, so he did his part, but only four other Alabama defensive players managed to get at least half a sack in the game. Buggs is too good to be surrounded by the rest of this ... trash.
- Alabama had to punt six times in the game, and when it did, Skyler DeLong averaged only 36 yards per punt. Trash.
Those are just some of the awful performances. And guess what? Alabama's incompetence isn't limited to the Texas A&M game!
What if I told you that, not including possessions at the end of halves, the Alabama offense only scored a touchdown on 26 of its 51 offensive possessions this season? That's just a 51 percent success rate! Do you know what kind of grade I'd get on a test if I only answered 51 percent of the questions correctly? That's right, I'd get an "F." Well, unless I were in a class where Alabama was ranked the No. 1 student and the teacher graded on an Alabama curve. Then 51 percent gets you an "A," apparently!
It isn't just the offense that's slacking, either. On the season, Alabama has managed only four touchdowns on defense or special teams and didn't get one of either against Texas A&M. Maybe if the defense did its part to score, Alabama would be ranked first in the nation in points per game instead of third behind Penn State and Ohio State.
I mean, if Alabama can't score as many points per game as Big Ten teams do, and the Big Ten sucks, what does that say about Alabama?
And speaking of the defense, did you know Alabama is allowing 12.75 points per game? That's tied for fourth in the country. The Alabama defense isn't even the best in its state, as Auburn is allowing 12.5 points per game. The teams that have allowed the least points per game are West Virginia and Utah.
That's right, a Big 12 team and a Pac-12 team have a better defense than almighty Alabama.
If this is how Alabama is going to play all season, it might actually lose a game. Could you even imagine? What kind of team would do that?
A team that sucks, that's who.
Perception Poll of the Week
Well, now that I've gotten the truth about Alabama out of the way, we can move on to college football teams that matter. Texas beat TCU on Saturday. It was Texas' third-straight win since opening the season with a loss to Maryland, and the second-straight win for the Longhorns over a ranked opponent. For TCU it was a second-straight loss after losing to No. 4 Ohio State the week before. After the game, I asked Twitter what it meant.
Just over 60 percent of the nearly 1,600 voters believe the result means TCU isn't very good, while 40 percent think it means Texas is pretty good. Well, some of that 40 percent votes in a poll where Texas is ranked No. 18 (Maryland, which is also 3-1 and beat Texas, was only ranked by one voter -- at No. 20).
So which side is right? What if it's both?
I had some TCU fans tell me that the Horned Frogs lost because they turned the ball over four times, and they aren't wrong. The Frogs did, and those turnovers played a significant role in the outcome of the game. The problem is turning the ball over wasn't a new phenomenon for TCU on Saturday. It's finished three of its four games with a negative turnover margin. The Frogs turned it over four times against Texas, three times against Ohio State and twice against SMU. The only game TCU has finished with a positive turnover margin was against Southern, and the TCU defense hasn't forced a turnover in the last two games.
I don't think TCU is in danger of missing a bowl game or anything, but it's clear to me at this point that, unless there's drastic improvement, this team isn't going to be competing with Oklahoma in the Big 12 this season.
As for Texas, much like I'm not going to declare that the Patriots dynasty is over after watching them lose on Sunday Night Football, I am not going to proclaim that "Texas Is Back!," either. But you know what? Texas might be decent. Hell, Texas might be the second-best team in the Big 12 this season (right now I'd say it's West Virginia), but the problem with that statement is that I'm not sure what it's worth.
Honestly, when I look at the Big 12 right now I see Oklahoma -- Army is a pain in the butt, I don't hold the close call against it -- and then the rest of the conference resembles, well, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I don't know what to make of it, which could be good news for Texas. There's a power vacuum behind the Sooners, and maybe it's the Longhorns in the best position to take advantage of it.
But I won't say Texas is back, and neither should you.
Tweet of the Week
You know things aren't going your way when fast food restaurants start talking crap on social media. Man, imagine if Wendy's spent as much time learning how to get your drive-thru order correct as it did crafting tweets. You might actually go to it once in a while.
Stat of the Week
While on the subject of Nebraska football, did you know that after allowing Michigan to score 56 points on Saturday, the Cornhuskers have now allowed at least 54 points in each of its last four Big Ten games?
Sad Fans of the Week
I didn't plan to focus on Tennessee fans this week, but they provided so many fantastic shots during the Vols 47-21 loss to Florida that I was left with no other choice.
I even had to give them the Mr. Peanutbutter treatment.
Random Ranking of the Week
This week I'm ranking varieties of nuts.
All rankings are final!
Quote of the Week
It comes courtesy of Portland State coach Bruce Barnum before Portland State played Montana State this weekend. Barnum is a fan of Montana State.
"It's going to be a classic Montana State team. They are going to come in here and try to bully us out of the stadium. That's just their M.O. You play some finesse teams. This is not a finesse football team. These guys do not wear undershirts. These guys do not wear cutoff socks. If it was legal, they would be having a beer at halftime. They are old school. They want to fight you," he explained. "When [Montana State coach Jeff] Choate is talking to them and [defensive coordinator Ty] Gregorak is combing his hair in the mirror, these guys wish they were smoking a cigarette and having a Budweiser. That's just the type they are. They are blue-collar kids. I love them. I love watching them. Of all the teams in the league, this is the team I like."
Montana State won 43-23.
Worst Kick of the Week
He's so bad he could play for Alabama because Alabama sucks, and so does he.
AP Voter of the Week
Virginia Tech lost to Old Dominion 49-35 on Saturday. Old Dominion was 0-3 coming into the game, having lost to Liberty (by 42), FIU and Charlotte. The loss dropped Virginia Tech to 2-1 on the season with wins over a 2-2 Florida State team and William & Mary.
None of this did anything to stop people from putting Virginia Tech on their AP Top 25 ballots. In fact, 12 voters kept the Hokies on their ballot this week, and all of them deserve a raised eyebrow, but none more so than Neill Ostrout. Neill covers UConn football and basketball for the Journal Inquirer, and he not only put Virginia Tech on his ballot, but he kept it at No. 12. He had the Hokies at No. 8 last week, so a 14-point loss to a 0-3 Old Dominion team is only worth four spots in Neill's poll.
Things get stranger from there, too, as he has 2-2 TCU at No. 19. TCU's best win is against 1-3 SMU. Mississippi State, which just lost to Kentucky, is at No. 16. Kentucky, which just beat Mississippi State and is 4-0 with a win over Florida as well, is at No. 21.
But Virginia Tech at No. 12 is the one for which I need to hear an explanation. What have the Hokies done in 2018 to suggest they're better than any of the teams Ostrought has ranked behind it?
And while this section is about the AP Top 25, how about the damn Coaches Poll actually still having Virginia Tech ranked at No. 24?
College Football Playoff Projection of the Week
1. Trash Alabama
4. Ohio State
Until the next Monday After!
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