This time last year I published a post very similar to the tone of this one. Another Sugar Bowl, another big stage...another loss.
While the clash with Ohio State certainly had more on the line than a traditional Sugar Bowl, courtesy of the new College Football Playoff format, once again Alabama failed to deliver in the SuperDome.
In respect to what we all witnessed last night, the overachieving Crimson Tide, led by an overachieving quarterback, finally hit the wall. A season filled with dramatic plays and dramatic games was capped by an inability to make the big plays and get off the field on third down. The game also saw the overachieving quarterback, Blake Sims, crack under pressure, and this time, unlike the Iron Bowl, the fifth-year senior was unable to recover.
Today's column on the paradox of a brilliant season with a bitter end. http://t.co/9Dgz2PXwPD
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) January 2, 2015
On the flip side of the coin, Ohio State, led by a third string quarterback, carved up the Alabama secondary, arguably the weakest link of the Crimson Tide team in 2014. UA allowed a grand total of 537 yards to the Buckeyes.
Nick Saban built a dynasty at Alabama, this much is true. However, Saban's sculpted and polished Crimson Tide currently sit at 0-and-2 in bowl games since defeating Notre Dame to capture the 2012 national title. Two Sugar Bowl trophies, that should be in 'Bama's trophy case, now reside in Oklahoma and Ohio. Three in total if you wish to count the contest with Utah in January of 2009 prior to Saban's first national title at Alabama. Quite a bitter pill to swallow considering all the success that has been digested.
Summary? Alabama needs to win a bowl game next season. Period. While the shine of a 12-2 season and an SEC championship is beautiful, making a habit of losing non-title bowl games is not a streak you want to have.
One more thing. Nick Saban and his staff are not above reproach. You can fully appreciate the success while also noting the shortcomings. The Alabama secondary, for example, should not allow a third string quarterback, making his second career start, to carve up the defense like a turkey. Saban is a defensive guru, correct? Call it a swing and a miss in respect to the recruitment of defensive backs or potentially bad development, but something has to change in this specific area.
Here's to hitting the mark in 2015. Alabama's a winner. Time to return to the days where we win the final game, not sulk and question the final loss.
Coming Soon: 2015 recruiting news