Alabama has won five of the last nine national championships. They could make it six of 10 by keeping this year’s train on the track. Nick Saban has established himself as the best college football coach to ever stalk the sidelines. People are inventing specious arguments to diminish him. Others are just flat-out bored by the Crimson Tide’s dominance.
And it could get worse. In fact, there’s every indication it will get worse. Three games in, we’ve found out the answer to a scary scientific experiment previously only whispered about. What would happen if Alabama had a game-changing, play-making, Heisman Trophy hopeful at quarterback? How unfair would that be to everyone else?
Early indications suggest the answer is very, very unfair. Apparently what happens is that the best team in the country year in and year out gets even better and kicks the stuffing out of every team in its path.
Tua Tagovailoa has been a revelation. He’s 36-of-50 for 646 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. The sophomore is averaging 6.6 yards/carry and has another touchdown on the ground.
Alabama has posted a 37-point victory over Louisville on a neutral field, a 50-point blasting of Arkansas State, and a 55-point dismantling of Ole Miss on the road. The offense is operating with a swagger often missing under Jalen Hurts and a long lineage of competent, but not spectacular, quarterbacks.
There is no game-managing going on. This offense is a killing machine and Tagovailoa has no conscience. It’s scary to think he can get better. And he will get better with seasoning. There is no stopping this train.
Let’s do a thought exercise. Look at Alabama’s schedule and tell me which team is going to play them to a one-score game? What team is going to play them to a two-score game? Mississippi State and Auburn have to come to Tuscaloosa. LSU gets the comfort of Baton Rogue, which isn’t all that comforting.
The Auburn-LSU game of last weekend was thrilling. It also exposed glaring flaws and mediocre offenses. If these are the two biggest hurdles on Alabama’s schedule, the Tide may not have to stretch before leaping the competition.
We’ve been here before with Saban’s machine. They are always, on paper, the team to beat and plausibly unbeatable. But life — and chaos — finds a way. Ask Dr. Ian Malcolm. An opponent is played down to. A flurry of turnovers levels the playing field. A freak special teams occurrence makes for a tight contest.
History says someone will want ‘Bama and get ‘Bama against the ropes. But what if this year is different? What if the Death Star’s one flaw has been addressed and it’s now impenetrable?
Definitely worth considering.