I typed out some comments last night to post this morning, but subsequently thought better of it and killed the post.
Yesterday’s game was indeed a horrific, not-even-in-a-lifetime catastrophe. Personally, I spend a lot of time thinking about worst-case scenarios for events and I can tell ya’, the field goal return for 100 yards (or longer) for a touchdown wasn’t in the scenario bank.
The loss was also a total team effort. Yes, that’s cliche’ and, yes, you can pinpoint individual plays and say “that guy lost us the game,” but the reality is there were a lot of plays yesterday that were lost and if a couple of those small battles had been won, then the game would have been won.
But they weren’t and it wasn’t.
The program has won a lot of stuff over the last five years under Nick Saban. Three national titles. Two SEC titles. And a ton of games. I’m not sure we really understand how hard it is to win three national championships in a row, but after yesterday, I think we can understand a little better. Our guys have won a lot and gone through a lot, but to win a championship (of any kind) takes something special, and after yesterday it’s very apparent that this team didn’t have that little extra. That’s not saying this isn’t a great team, it’s just saying, obviously, that it fell a bit short.
Does yesterday’s loss signal some sort of seismic shift in the SEC? Has Nick Saban and ‘Bama been run over by the Gus Bus? I dunno. Maybe. We’ve been on a fantastic run and yesterday may signal the beginning of the end. But on the other hand, it may signal the end of Phase I and the beginning of Phase II. Or it could be something in between.
I never thought I could survive something so catastrophic as blowing a huge lead in an Iron Bowl, but I did (2010). I never in my wildest dreams thought I could survive something like losing on a field goal returned for a touchdown. But apparently I have. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.