It should not have been this close, but No. 11 Alabama was nearly upset at home to five-loss Arkansas. Yessir, these Hogs have gone to hell in a handbasket for pit master Sam Pittman, but the only team more in the pit than them is Pitt. Even with three wins between Pitt and Pittman, it was shocking to see Alabama be pushed to the brink at home by one of the worst teams in the SEC, aight.
Even though the Crimson Tide improved to 6-1 (4-0) on the season, this looks like a team that is going to drop another game between now and the SEC Championship Game. They still have to play three ranked teams in a row over the next four weekends between Tennessee, LSU and Kentucky, not to mention the tricky Iron Bowl with Auburn at end of the season. They may have to play Georgia, too...
I still think this is a New Year's Six team, but not one that will be playing in either the Rose or Sugar Bowls as part of the final four-team College Football Playoff. Just look at who they almost lost to at home. Arkansas might be the worst team in the SEC this season, and this league also includes the likes of a Vanderbilt program going through transition and a Mississippi State still trying to find itself.
If Alabama does make the playoff and goes on to win the national title, Nick Saban should retire because he is never going to top this coaching job. His team is not up to Alabama standards anymore.
Alabama may not even be a College Football Playoff sleep after Arkansas
There were reasons why the AP voters did not have the Crimson Tide inside the top 10 this week. Like Spinal Tap, Alabama goes to 11, but not necessarily in a good way. It may have something to do with coaching staff attrition, Jalen Milroe not being a transcendent quarterback or the rest of the SEC leveling up. Either way, this Alabama team might be good, but it is definitely not great, or at least now...
Let's be real. For me to say Alabama is losing any game in particular the rest of the season is foolish. Oh, they are probably going to lose one, but I couldn't tell you which one it will be, and that is the pervasive issue with this team. Seemingly every week now, Alabama can get got. Maybe upwards of 10 SEC teams could have beaten Alabama this week. Unfortunately, Arkansas was never one of them.
Ultimately, Alabama's next loss will be the final nail in the coffin of the Saban era dynasty. Oh, if the Crimson Tide run the gauntlet, go 11-1 (8-0), beat Georgia and then beat someone like Florida State and either Michigan or Georgia in succession, that would be unbelievable. If any coach can do that, it would be Saban. Too bad he does not have a team realistically capable of pulling this off this season.
This is still going to be a double-digit win team, but Alabama may need a bowl game to get to 10 now.