By My Count: Alabama Has Allowed 90 Points In Last Two Games On The Big Stage

Chris Dufresne

​By my count Alabama will still be listed, through Saturday night, as No. 1 in the USA coaches’ poll. Common sense dictates that ranking will change after Saturday’s 46-41 home loss to LSU…But you never know with the coaches, who continue to fawn over what Alabama was, not presently is…Last week, AP voters (correctly) moved LSU to No. 1 ahead of Alabama and the first College Football Playoff ranking had the Tide at No. 3 behind Ohio State and LSU….The USA Today coaches, though, continue to believe in the healing powers of Nick Saban. The question now: is it justified?

Alabama really hadn’t played anyone before Saturday’s showdown in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide owned a No. 59 SOS in the latest Sagarin Ratings. Clemson, at No. 64, was the only top-15 team with a worse SOS.

Let’s take a harder look: by my count Alabama, in its last two games against quality opponents on the big stage, has allowed 90 points. The Tide gave up 44 in last year’s national title game loss to Clemson and 46 to LSU on Saturday. Right?

Alabama will never be “out” of playoff contention so long as CBS analyst Gary Danielson is breathing. The Crimson Tide was a minus 5.5 home favorite against LSU. Alabama never led in the game and trailed by as many as 20. LSU was clearly the better team and only horrible pass defense coverage in the final 1:20 allowed the game to become a five-point margin finish.

Danielson, though, almost climbed through our TV sets to tell us regarding Bama, “They’re going to be in the discussion still.”

And maybe Gary is right, but his shameful shilling of SEC football, win or lose, is generally annoying. We all know the SEC is great but not EVERY game is great and not EVERY team is playoff worthy…

By my count the SEC keeps moving the goal posts. In 2011, when LSU defeated Alabama, 9-6, in overtime, the boys down South sold that “Game of the Century” as the way tackle football was meant to be played.

Saturday’s “Game of the Century” generally produced confounding play from both defensive sides. Alabama and LSU produced 1,100 total yards, while the 87 total points were most in the history of the series.

Great football, or just exciting?

By my count Alabama and Penn State, ranked No. 3 and No 4 in the first CFP ranking, never held the lead in losses to Minnesota and LSU…Tigers’ quarterback Joe Burrow is clearly the front-runner for this year’s Heisman Trophy if only for the fact contenders Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) won’t have the chance to beat undefeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa. “These are the games you live for,” Burrow said on CBS after the game.

By my count this may be the first week in voting history a team will lose its No. 1 spot after a 73-14 win. Ohio State, despite playing without defensive star Chase Young, had little trouble disposing of Maryland. It probably won’t be enough to hold No.1 in next week’s CFP ranking. My one-two-three vote last week in the NFF Super 16 poll was Ohio State, LSU and Alabama…Sorry, Bucks, but I’m moving LSU to No. 1 this week knowing that LSU and Ohio State, by a mile, are the two best teams in college football at this moment…

By my count Minnesota is 9-0 for the first time since 1904…That was a really good year for the Gophers, who started the season with a 107-0 win over Twin Cities Central High School. Minnesota finished 13-0 with 12 shutouts. The only school that scored was Nebraska, in a 16-12 defeat…

By my count USC narrowly avoided a Monday press conference announcing the firing of Clay Helton. My guess is that might have happened had USC blown a 28-7 lead at Arizona State. The Trojans, though, held on to a 31-26 win after Christian Rector’s interception in the final minute. Since that final score stuck it must be considered a nice bounce-back for the Trojans (and quarterback Kedon Slovis) after last Saturday’s home beat down against Oregon. Slovis had four turnovers in that game, three interceptions and a fumble, but he was generally brilliant in the ASU win. You could argue, in the history of the sport, no quarterback has ever had a better first quarter. Slovis threw for 297 yards and four touchdowns. An injury forced him out for part of the game but Slovis still finished 29-for-39 with 432 with four touchdowns and an interception…

By my count Baylor is 9-0 but we’re not sure how. The Bears needed every ounce of effort to defeat TCU, 29-23, in triple OT. It was one of the worst 60 minutes of football played this season (all field goals) combined with one of the most exciting overtime periods. Baylor has also survived an OT win over Texas Tech, a two-pointer over Iowa State and and a 17-14 squeaker over West Virginia. And how did Baylor only beat Rice, 21-13? Bottom line: it doesn’t matter. Baylor, No. 12 this week, kept its playoff hopes alive in advance of hosting Oklahoma next week...

By my count, after Appalachian State's win at South Carolina on Saturday, SEC schools have lost at home this year to App State, San Jose State, Western Kentucky, Cal, Georgia State and BYU. Appalachian State has also defeated North Carolina this season. The Mountaineers' only loss was to Georgia Southern...


Chris Dufresne