No. 1 Alabama is so good that it’s making everyone in Tuscaloosa a little bit crazy. Football games are supposed to be hard to win, and when you’re winning each week by 40 points, it throws off your equilibrium a little bit. Freaks you out. Makes you wonder what’s coming around the corner for you, the threat you’re not seeing.
You can see it in Nick Saban‘s public comments this year.
“So I would appreciate it if you would sort of look at some of the things we didn’t do so well, all right, and write about that so I can show it to the players and say, ‘Look here, man. Here’s something you can do better,'” Saban on Sept. 22.
That was the day after Alabama beat No. 22 Texas A&M 45-23, a week after they beat Ole Miss 62-7, two weeks after a 57-7 crunching of Arkansas State and three weeks removed from a 51-14 romp over Louisville.
Since then, Alabama has beaten Louisiana-Lafayette 56-14 and on Saturday they crushed Arkansas 65-31. That’s good for an average margin of victory of 40 points per game — 10 points per quarter, every quarter, over half of an entire season.
But, you see, that 31 that Arkansas scored is a problem. It doesn’t matter that Alabama led 21-0 less than 10 minutes into the game and 41-14 at the half. Arkansas scored 31 points, the first time an opponent has topped 30 points against the Tide since Deshaun Watson did so that night in Tampa in January of 2017.
Alabama can play better, and Tide linebacker Mack Wilson vows they will play better.
It’s like the version of Tim Tebow‘s famous “I promise” speech in 2008, except that came live after a loss, not on Instagram after a 34-point win.
For the record, Alabama ranks a pathetic 11th in scoring defense (16 points per game), an indefensible 28th in yards per play allowed (4.9), and an unforgivable 49th in 134.33 yards per game).