“Blame Kirby Smart.”

You know, were I in a more generous mood, I might be willing to give some credence to this Matt Hayes column about how Alabama’s decline on defense can be laid at the feet of Kirby Smart leaving for greener pastures, except for that whole “Saban’s appeared in three national championship games and won two of ’em since” thing.

Under Saban, Alabama’s won four nattys after a regular season loss.  Think I’ll wait a little before shoveling dirt on their grave.

27 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Media Punditry/Foibles

27 responses to ““Blame Kirby Smart.”

  1. Gaskilldawg

    Does all of the shoveling of dirt on Alabama’s grave mean the Florida’s negative 3 point win isn’t so awesome?

    Liked by 15 people

  2. 81Dog

    It’s as if Nick hasn’t signed a top defensive player since Kirby left. Remind me how many top 3 recruiting class Alabama had the last 5 years. A ton, right?

    The reports of Alabama’s demise are greatly exaggerated. It’s all rat Poison. Go Dawgs, beat everyone!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. D as in Dawg

    No kidding. They are using a 12 team playoff format shovel. Alabama won’t lose again in the regular season. They know that. Saban will use this loss to get his team’s attention. All they can see is the narrative.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. bcdawg97

    Posted previously that while they may be more flawed than usual this year, Bama now has no margin of error which might make them more dangerous in the long run. Too much talent + Saban means I don’t see them falling off the wagon like Clemson has. But it’s been a 2007-esq start to the season so who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    As long as we’re on this subject, I think we can lay to rest our concerns that Kirby was only a figurehead and didn’t deserve credit for Alabama’s defenses.

    Liked by 9 people

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    Maybe, just maybe, Saban has used the revolving door coordinator technique one time too many. He’s a defensive mind and with their talent he could have a great defense even with inert matter as a coordinator. Maybe this year he’s stuck with a guy who makes things worse.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      But I agree it’s a little early to put a toe tag on the elephant. I firmly believe we will see them in the Benz*.

      *We have to get there too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Down Island Way

        Send big blue nation back to lexington thinking “we coulda’ been a contenda'”…then finding out the truth about reality that a 28 point loss is just that…

        Liked by 1 person

      • ericstrattonrushchairmandamngladtomeetyou

        “We have to get there too” is right. If Georgia gets knocked off by UK (which has already beaten FU) then UK goes to the SECCG and the Dawgs go to a meaningless bowl. Remember all those one loss Georgia teams that woulda coulda shoulda won the National Championship? 1966, 1968, 1971, 2002 immediately come to my mind. Plus the 2 loss 2007 team in a year when 2 loss LSU won the SECCG and the BCS National Championship and Georgia wasn’t allowed to play in either game. Plus the 2012 season 2 loss season where the Dawgs finished 5 yards short of playing an overrated ND for the natty.

        Liked by 1 person

    • College football dynasties die when assistant coaches start getting poached. That Saban has been able to keep churning with all the staff turnover is absolutely remarkable.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. biggusrickus

    They’ve been slightly worse defensively since Pruitt left, so I wouldn’t expect Golding to be around much longer. Saban appears to have made a somewhat bad hire. They still haven’t finished outside the top 10 defensively the last three years by SP+.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. There is some credence to the lack of draft picks (and potential DP’s) from the Defense side of Bama. One thing they have been missing is elite edge rushers.

    Like

  9. The only proper thing to do is to wait until UGA wins a “couple” national titles in quick order before we start down the Bama’s best days are behind them road…Saban and Alabama have earned their legacy status…we need championships before we can say jack shit

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Texas Dawg

    Alabama didn’t will the NC in 18 or 19. Since 2009 there have been 6 years that they didn’t win it all. Did that mean the end of the Death Star? Nope. Every team is different and while they’re sill REALLY good, are they up to the standards of last year? Nope! Every great dynasty has ups and downs, but when yo’re a dynasty, your downs are not as far. The Yankees did not win every WS back in the day, but they were always the standard to be judged by. Once ‘Bama misses the playoffs a few years and has a couple of 7-5 seasons, then I would say the dynasty is over. Until then they’re dangerous and should be treated as such.

    Liked by 2 people

    • siskey

      I agree. Every time they lose the articles come out about how hopeless things are in Tuscaloosa. It’s part wish fulfillment and part because the writers only have to refresh the column they wrote the year before. That being said the loss to AM may be different in that AM was unranked and had looked like a team that was headed for a 6-6 or 7-5 season prior to the win. In the other years that Bama’s dynasty ended the team that beat them whether that was Ole Miss, AM or Auburn either had a QB play lights out or were a talented team that played their best while Bama played their B or C game. That may be what happened on Saturday but the only difference I can discern is that on Saturday Bama came back to lead after playing well in the 2d half only to let AM score and eventually win by playing poorly again.
      Again I don’t think Bama is at risk of losing another regular season game and believe that we will face them in the SEC Championship game, but what will it look like when they fall from the top of the conference and nation? Will it be sudden or will with hindsight it be apparent to everyone?

      Like

  11. charlottedawg

    People were saying how the tides run was over after they lost to ole miss in 2015, and Georgia was in a position to take them down, etc etc. How’d that work out? The fact of the matter is that even after the A&M loss Alabama still controls it’s destiny in the division, conference and CFP.

    I’ll think about the Tide if we play them but first step is dispatching the rest of the teams on our schedule. Middling teams like Florida would love nothing more than to wreck our season now that they have nothing left to play for. Hahaha, Man I loved typing that last sentence, FTMF.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Kevin’s Missing Pinky

    I think it’s an interesting theory, but it needs more time to be held true or rejected.

    Yes, Alabama’s defensive decline has been more noticeable the past two seasons…which aligns with the timeframe that Kirby stopped evaluating and recruiting talent for Alabama. The guys on Bama’s roster the immediate years after Kirby’s departure were largely recruits that Kirby had a direct role in evaluating, recruiting, and developing. That could be why the decline took longer…a lot of the guys playing were influenced by Smart.

    And yes, Alabama still recruits well, Star Rating wise, but look at the evaluation aspect, maybe their evaluations aren’t as good. While the ratings are there, they may be recruiting less based off good evaluating and more based on “stars”. I’m aware that UGA and Bama recruit the same players for the most part, but more of UGAs have panned out on Defense since Kirby arrived. Maybe it’s a coincidence.

    Again, time will tell.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. siskey

    I can’t give too much credit to the authors line of thought but I am very surprised that Bama has only had one player from the defense drafted in the first round the past 3 drafts. As long as Kirby keeps getting guys like Carter, Walker, Davis, Logue, etc we will have a hell of a team.
    Go Dawgs!

    Like

  14. W Cobb Dawg

    Bama lost on a FG. That doesn’t happen to Saban often, but it can happen when the point margin is close. The lesson he’ll preach to his team is that they should never let the game get close. Put your foot on the gas and don’t let up. I’d like us to internalize that same mindset.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The problem was Bama fell behind quickly. They were playing catch-up the whole game. When they got ahead, the defense choked. They had a chance to win the game with their own field goal and went 3 and out.

      Like

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      They also lost to a team that got smoked by Arkansas. I don’t think that Kirby leaving is the key to why Alabama’s defense has declined, but this year, at least, they are definitely not as fearsome as they once were. They are giving up a lot of points. Even last year it seemed to me their D gave up a lot, but the offense was so good it didn’t matter. I think if Bama gets the ship righted it’s going to be because Bryce grows into the job a little more, and that can definitely happen.

      Like

  15. Here’s how that article came about…”Matt? Saban here. I need you to write about our defense so I can get everyone’s attention in the locker room aiight?Here’s what you type…”

    Like

  16. Ken Dixon

    I still haven’t seen one team yet go to one of these souped up offenses and keep their elite defense. OU lost their defensive status from Stoops early years and now Saban has done the same.

    Like

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