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I am sure that the title of this thread will tempt some to downvote and that is your constitutional right, however, I started this thread not as a knee-jerk angry reaction to yesterdays' loss, but more as an observation of a pattern that has continued for three straight Novembers.
We all have seen what a tremendous job CNS and staff have done in building this program into the paragon of excellence in college football and none of us would dare question the methods that have been established to that end. But, this is the third staight November where our team has inexplicably faltered in home games when it had every chance to win and even when momentum has been on its side in each game.
Because of the resulting losses to AU in 2010, LSU in 2011 and TAM in 2012, it seems that we have mental fatigue going into November and I wonder if the team begins to wear down mentally with all of the growing pressure that the players feel. Look at what the break in action did for the players the last two years. A total dismantling of Michigan State in 2010 and then the complete dominance and payback in BCSNCG in 2011. It comes with the territory of being a perennial championship contender but from what I have seen our team not only starts to show the physical toll of the season (Like everyone else) but also has certain mental breakdowns.
Whether it be dropped passes that result in interceptions or simply throwing it to the wrong team or laying it on the ground, The Tide seems to do those things at an alarming rate at home in November. Someone can check the stats on that but in these critical home games in November in the last three years, the aforementioned errors along with untimely penalties, missed tackles, missed field goals and general unawareness in critical situations, (Remember the fumble right before halftime in the 2010 IB when a UA player didnt realize the ball was laying at his feet and allowed an AU player to recover it?) have been the Tides' undoing.
Now, not all of the errors that have occurred in these games have been mental. And the other teams' performance has had a lot to do with the resulting losses. But despite this, in each game, UA has had multiple opportunities to win, but hasnt been able to do so.
The reasons for these mental lapses can be explained. After all, these are kids that dont get a break from football during the season or the off-season and are being compared to NFL teams and hearing all sorts of lofty praise from every direction. How many tweets and texts did TJY receive this past week telling him how great he is? What about AJ? There is so much hype surrounding CNS and this team by this time of year that it would have to cause a loss of focus for several players. I can definitely feel that the fans have gotten a "take it for granted" attitude as i saw people whining about the fact that at least one media member actually picked TAM to win the game. (How dare they!) I have always felt that the team does take on a little of the fans attitude and why wouldnt they? With 31K rabid students and social media allowing for the closest interaction with the players that has ever been, it is understandable that the players would start believing the hype. How many times do these guys hear praise just walking around campus? How easy is it to read on the internet or in the paper about how great you are playing?
It might help if part of "The Process" included a class called "Keeping an even keel emotionally even when everyone around you is getting sized up for their championship rings in November."
By the way, it aint over 'til its over...RTR!
You may get down-voted into oblivion but I think it is an interesting question. Can college athletes maintain the unyielding mental focus and physical demands that Saban's "process" requires over the course of a full season? I saw a lot of physically and emotionally tired players on the field yesterday. The good news is that when we have had a lapse during the past few seasons, we have generally rebounded very well and regained our edge. And for the record, I think Saban does it as well as any coach in the business -- but I do wonder if we will see him pull back on the reigns more in future years as we near the home stretch.
This post was edited by CrimsonKat 17 months ago
Our schedule the last few years has always been setup to make the end of October & the entire month of November very difficult to get through mentally and physically for Bama. We get some help with that for next year's schedule.
I don't care if you are winning or losing at Alabama you will face great pressure to perform. That's why we recruit elite athletes who have great character. It is not easy to play at a high level every wheek when everybody considers you the most important game on the schedule. Saban is human as are the players. The past two weeks we have had QB's play at a level you rarely see. It's not the end of the world. Our program is as solid as ever and we will lose from time to time. We as fans have become spoiled.
Bama has lost games to some really good teams in november.
Valid question, and it may be true to an extent, but I think you see physical and mental mistakes any time you play consecutive physical football games. The same thing happened in 2010 with us playing a tight game in Fayetteville, beating the brakes off the Gators at home, and then heading to USCe and getting beat up on. That all happened September/October. It's just the way our schedule sets up. +1 to you though for an interesting topic.
Playing 3 top 15 opponents in a row will make anyone tired. The way our schedule sets up is very difficult down the stretch.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4
Interesting topic - Saban's process and attitude toward greatness is obviously very demanding, but it is not like we practice more than other teams. We still abide by the rules as far as practice times and everything else (nothing to show that we don't). Now as far as film study and other things like that, a lot of this is done without coaches involved. I remember Donta Hightower saying all the LBs had to dinner together and watched film on Thursday nights at someone's house - this is without any coaches present. It is understandable to get mentally drained throughout the season, but as others have said above, our schedules have been pretty tough in different stretches. I mean look at UGA's for example: they have lost two years in a row to the best team in their division and yet they still have a cakewalk to the SECCG. aTm replaced Arkansas this year as one of the better teams in the SEC West.
Losses by month...
Aug - 0
Sept - 2 (FSU, uga)
Oct - 1 (usce)
Nov - 8 (LSU, au, Ulm, msu, a&m)
Dec - 1
Jan - 1
Or maybe because we play our most difficult games of the season in November.
Your really going to count the 2007 losses ? Totally different team.
I think it is more a testament to the weekly grind of the SEC than anything to do with the system.
Yes....07 does count in the "Alabama" record books.
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Personally I think it's because in Year 2 of our Qbs we give them more reign over the offense. Think about it, how much did GMAC have in 2009? How much in 2010? In 2009 we had 255 more carries than pass attempts compared to 105 more carries than pass attempts in 2010. Last year we had a difference of 151 rush to pass attempts. This year we're at 142 and I don't see that difference getting much larger than that. When we run we go undefeated, when we pass we lose. RTR.
"You feeling satisfied now Teddy?"
FYI, we get two bye weeks next year. November has 5 Saturdays in it, so we get an extra bye week. Hopefully that'll help. Our schedule looks very manageable. We get a&m early on, and every other SEC team except LSU and MSU will have a new coach. And we get the corndogs in BDS.
And Ole Sis, they won't fire Freeze just yet. RTR.
Thank you; RTR!
Not really an answer to your question, but we're really missing Fowler, and White.
Our losses at rb. Coupled with Lacy still not being 100%. Has caused us not to run the ball as much imho. We pretty much have one healthy back in Yeldon. & another who is at best 70-80% most of the time. What else do you do? U can't give Yeldon the ball 25 times per game. & expect him to last 2 or 3 more years.
to be fair, I believe you should discount 2007. The team had not yet been processed.
But that really wasn't Saban's team. There was a ton of Shula players that just wasn't buying the process.
Come on! Saban coached the team guys. & was way above schedule until book gate took place.
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