It was a game that many expected to be closely contested, and Alabama absolutely blew the doors open.
With talk of the Nick Saban dynasty ending seeped into every corner of the college football media world, the Crimson Tide marched into Athens, Ga. on Saturday and laid a 38-10 beatdown on UGA.
Fresh off the heels of Alabama dominating a top-10 team at home in every sense of the word, SECCountry.com felt the need to look back on everyone who proclaimed that Saban’s era of excellence was over following a close loss to Ole Miss two weeks ago. Here is a comprehensive list of the hot takes we’ve rustled up:
Klatt as a guest on Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd” says:
“They have a Nick Saban problem at Alabama. They pay Kirby Smart and Nick Saban north of $8 million, and in the last 14 games they’ve given up 40 points four times… He’s turned Alabama into an old Big Ten defense. It’s a big, slow, lumbering, look at me I’m 250 pounds and linebacker. They can’t tackle anybody.”
Clay Travis of Fox Sports writes:
“Great teams, rarely, if ever, lose. Alabama’s just a good football team. The rest of the SEC has caught up with Alabama and Nick Saban, particularly Saban’s defense. Alabama built its dynasty on defense and the simple fact is Saban’s defense is downright ordinary now…
In two weeks, when the Tide roll into Georgia and lose, it will be a perfect capstone to the rise and fall of the Tide dynasty.”
Matt Hayes of Sporting News writes:
“There’s no greater indicator of a lost dynasty, no more prominent red flag, than ignoring the obvious: this is not the same Alabama program of years gone by.
Ole Miss 43, Alabama 37 simply put an exclamation point on it.
This is not the Alabama team that dominates and suffocates and eviscerates. This program, since late last season, stumbles and eventually crumbles in big games.
Then makes excuses.”
Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports writes:
“Nick Saban, one of the great defensive coaches of all time, hasn’t been able to put a top-shelf secondary on the field for the last couple of years. Nor, for that matter, has he been able to find a star kicker or a star quarterback. Those are glaring and surprising problems for a program that, year-in and year-out, recruits the best talent in America. How is Alabama not three-deep in stud kickers and quarterbacks? Every year?”
USA Today’s Dan Wolken writes:
“For all of its No. 1-ranked recruiting classes, Alabama can no longer dictate the way games are played. For all of the defensive talent that rolls through and shuffles off to the NFL, the Crimson Tide can no longer shut good teams down. For all the time they had to replace AJ McCarron, they are now in the midst of a second consecutive season without a reliable quarterback.”
CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon writes:
“The times are changing in the SEC. No one fears Alabama anymore, certainly not Ole Miss, which looked like the confident and veteran team. On Saturday, Alabama and Auburn both lost a game in September for the first time since 2007. That was the last time the Iron Bowl didn’t have national championship implications for at least one team.”
The dynasty argument is about a state of mind, a state of being. That’s gone. That no longer exists at Alabama. They have no right to it anymore. They can still be very, very good. But they’re going to have to improve. I don’t think what happened Saturday was a fluke by any means. I picked Ole Miss.
Las Vegas even lost its faith in the Crimson Tide — to an extent. UGA began the week as a home favorite, snapping Alabama’s 72-game streak of being favored, but the line crept much closer to even as kickoff approached.
Joe Giglio of The News & Observer writes:
“One loss doesn’t knock Alabama out of the playoff race, as Saban proved again for the hundredth time last year, but there was a distinct “end of an era” feel to this loss…
But all good things must come to an end. It happened to Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Miami, Southern California and every other college football dynasty in the past 50 years.
Saban’s true Waterloo wasn’t on Saturday night in “T” town, though. Auburn’s “Kick Six,” a 100-yard return of a missed field goal by Chris Davis with no time on the clock in the last regular-season game of the 2013 season served as the end of Alabama’s magnificent run under Saban.”
Of course, not everyone had hopped on the Alabama doubt train before Saturday’s big win. ESPN analyst Desmond Howard predicted the Crimson Tide would win decisively.
Please show me the clowns that had Bama as an underdog. They are constructed for that type of game.
— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) October 3, 2015
One of the most important and meaningful wins of the Saban era at Alabama.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 3, 2015