Is Alabama Football Slipping From Standard It Created for Itself?

After taking his final question in the postgame press conference following Alabama's loss to Texas Saturday night, Nick Saban hesitated at the podium before heading back to the locker room. 

"It's a it's a privilege to play in games like this," Saban said. "It's a privilege to play at the University of Alabama. It's a privilege to play where you have such great tradition." 

There's some argument about whether or not Alabama has the greatest winning tradition in college football history. 

The program has the most championships, but other schools have more wins or a higher winning percentage. 

However, there's even smaller room for debate about if Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time. 

He's won seven total national titles — six at Alabama — and developed numerous Heisman winners, NFL stars and first-round draft picks. 

But do his players still realize what that privilege is? Do they still play with the same intensity and mental discipline that helped the Crimson Tide win all those championships? 

Is Alabama slipping off its pedestal as the kings of college football? Clemson has fallen off the map after trading championship blows with Alabama in the mid 2010s, 

but just up the road Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs are the back-to-back defending national champions. 

Alabama's 34-24 loss to Texas was somewhat of an anomaly in the Saban era for multiple reasons. 

From 2008 to 2022, Alabama had just two regular season losses by double-digit points (South Carolina in 2010 and Auburn in 2017.)

Beating up on Alabama is simply something that doesn't happen very often to the Crimson Tide under Saban. 

It happens even less at home, but the smattering of burnt orange throughout Bryant-Denny Stadium had a long, rousing celebration Saturday night. 

Losing in general doesn't happen very much. Five times his teams have gone undefeated in the regular season& he has just 22 total losses over the last 16 seasons including the loss to the Longhorns. 

But the losses are becoming more frequent (four in the last 16 games dating back to the 2021 national championship loss to Georgia) and the championships farther in between. 

Yes, that sounds dramatic when putting it into the overall context of college football with Alabama having won a national title in 2020,

 but it's also the standard Saban has set for himself and the program with the success he's had over the last 15 years. 


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