Alabama Beat Writer: Tennessee ‘Won’t Be Last Loss’ If Sloppy Play Continues

Alabama LB Will Anderson walks off the field at Neyland Stadium after losing to Tennessee for the first time in 15 years.

Getty Images Alabama LB Will Anderson walks off the field at Neyland Stadium after losing to Tennessee for the first time in 15 years.

For the last 15 years, Nick Saban has sculpted the standard in college football.

One nickname stands out if you’re a fan of this sport in the 21st century: ‘Bama.

Alabama football hasn’t won less than 10 games since Saban’s first season in 2007, and it’s won at least 12 games in nine out of the past 11 seasons.

Questions surrounding the program surfaced when the Crimson Tide lost to rival Tennessee for the first time in 15 years on October 15 at Neyland Stadium.

Head coaches are used to taking the blame for losses; it’s part of the job. But Saban, a six-time national champion at Alabama, is seldom the culprit. However, after the loss to the Vols, he’s the center of the blame due to a late-game call that eventually cost them the game.

Aaron Suttles, who covers Alabama for The Athletic, shared his thoughts on the struggles in Tuscaloosa.

“In the second quarter, Nick Saban wrenched the headset from atop his head and screamed at DE Quandarrius Robinson, “What are you doing?” The language might have been a little saltier as the frustration erupted through his words and body language,” Suttles wrote. “… No one has the credentials to question Saban. He’s accomplished too much in this game. He’s considered the GOAT. I’m certainly not intending to here. But it needs to be asked: If it were any coach other than Saban, would you label Alabama a poorly coached team?”

Alabama took 17 penalties against Tennessee, the most in program history. The defense allowed one player, WR Jalin Hyatt, to score five touchdowns on six catches, and let the Vols drive over 35 yards with 19 seconds left to set up the game-winning field goal.

In Knoxville, it was mindless errors, spiraling out of control, and letting go of a 4th quarter lead that lost the game for the Tide.

Losing like this isn’t the custom, so how will Alabama respond?

“If Alabama continues to play the way it did Saturday if it continues to commit penalties at an alarming rate and continues to let teams hang around when it has chances to put them away, then this won’t be the last regular-season loss,” Suttles wrote. “That’s not to paint a doom-and-gloom scenario. Alabama is talented enough to get it together and win out. But to do so, it has to remember who it is. It’s Alabama.”

Where Did Alabama Football Fall In New AP Poll?

The Crimson Tide fell three spots to No. 6 in the October 16 edition of the AP Poll.

This is the second week in a row voters hurt Alabama’s ranking. After claiming the top spot in Week 6 and narrowly beating unranked Texas A&M at home, 24-20, the Tide fell to two spots to No. 3.

Now, they’re outside of the top 5.

Alabama Basketball Lands Commitment

Four-star forward Mouhamed Dioubate committed to Alabama basketball on a live stream with 247Sports on Monday, October 16.

Dioubate is a 6-foot-7 forward from Flushing, N.Y., the No. 86 overall prospect in the country and the No. 3 player in New York, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Head coach Nate Oats led the recruitment of the talented forward for the Crimson Tide, ultimately securing Dioubate’s pledge over competitors Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

Dioubate is Alabama’s first top-100 player in its 2023 recruiting class, which ranks 11th nationally with three four-stars and one three-star committed.