No More Predictions...

Awsi Dooger

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Exactly. It was just as bad as Kirby Smart's fake punt.

Bottom line is, Alabama quit. I've never seen that before. I've never seen it.

They quit at the end of the 2nd quarter when they chose to run out the clock....
I was thinking the same thing. I've seen the Canes all but surrender when things aren't going well. I've seen it from my alma mater USC. Until tonight I don't remember a glaring example from Alabama. There were some lousy games in the late '90s. I remember having Virginia Tech -3.5 points in a bowl game and it turned into a rout. But that was more a flawed vulnerable team than a quit.

Nick Saban didn't seem to have the same intensity as typical. He wanted fixes but didn't seem to be demanding them.

Of course, I'll assign it partially if not largely to the switch in offensive style. I'm never in favor of cupcake offense because there is too much danger of it creating a grub worm effect...eating away at the foundational roots, a la the Marino Dolphins. Nobody will ever convince me that a Saban team from earlier this decade would have caved like that, even if the defenders were tonight's defenders. The team mindset was totally different.

Alabama has rotated away from its power heritage too much, IMO. I kept thinking that an updated Wisconsin philosophy would fit perfectly with this Alabama team. Still plenty of spread concepts but also more I formation and pro sets with creative shifting and play action via snaps from under center. McElwain had lots of that and he certainly didn't have anyone as talented as Tua to run it.

Such a waste of an offensive line that was pushing around Clemson's defensive front beyond what I thought was possible.

BTW, are we really going to give Kyler Murray such credit for how he played against Alabama, given the Fromm and Lawrence examples on either side of that? As I posted last week, I can read lots of praise about Murray but don't tell me he played great against Alabama. There was no reason to be so scared early in that game. Non-threatening comeback numbers should be multiplied by .75 at highest.

Clemson got all the closely contested plays, especially in critical situations. Bizarre final score given the relationship of those two teams. Nobody will want to accept it but Alabama would be favored again if the two teams lined up next week.

Saban's post-game presser was excellent. Likewise from Tua. He is extremely well spoken and level headed.

I still can't believe Alabama punted on 4th and 14 near midfield. Nor that they continued to allow the play clock to run down during the second half despite a 21 point deficit but plenty of time remaining. All you have to do is cut that gap to 14 points and suddenly the energy changes and almost anything is possible, as we've seen from Alabama recently and almost from the Ravens on Sunday.
 

Namor

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Bow down to Clemson...They kicked our ***....WoW!!! All i can say.
 

TedSlimmJr

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I was thinking the same thing. I've seen the Canes all but surrender when things aren't going well. I've seen it from my alma mater USC. Until tonight I don't remember a glaring example from Alabama. There were some lousy games in the late '90s. I remember having Virginia Tech -3.5 points in a bowl game and it turned into a rout. But that was more a flawed vulnerable team than a quit.

Nick Saban didn't seem to have the same intensity as typical. He wanted fixes but didn't seem to be demanding them.

Of course, I'll assign it partially if not largely to the switch in offensive style. I'm never in favor of cupcake offense because there is too much danger of it creating a grub worm effect...eating away at the foundational roots, a la the Marino Dolphins. Nobody will ever convince me that a Saban team from earlier this decade would have caved like that, even if the defenders were tonight's defenders. The team mindset was totally different.

Alabama has rotated away from its power heritage too much, IMO. I kept thinking that an updated Wisconsin philosophy would fit perfectly with this Alabama team. Still plenty of spread concepts but also more I formation and pro sets with creative shifting and play action via snaps from under center. McElwain had lots of that and he certainly didn't have anyone as talented as Tua to run it.

Such a waste of an offensive line that was pushing around Clemson's defensive front beyond what I thought was possible.

BTW, are we really going to give Kyler Murray such credit for how he played against Alabama, given the Fromm and Lawrence examples on either side of that? As I posted last week, I can read lots of praise about Murray but don't tell me he played great against Alabama. There was no reason to be so scared early in that game. Non-threatening comeback numbers should be multiplied by .75 at highest.

Clemson got all the closely contested plays, especially in critical situations. Bizarre final score given the relationship of those two teams. Nobody will want to accept it but Alabama would be favored again if the two teams lined up next week.

Saban's post-game presser was excellent. Likewise from Tua. He is extremely well spoken and level headed.

I still can't believe Alabama punted on 4th and 14 near midfield. Nor that they continued to allow the play clock to run down during the second half despite a 21 point deficit but plenty of time remaining. All you have to do is cut that gap to 14 points and suddenly the energy changes and almost anything is possible, as we've seen from Alabama recently and almost from the Ravens on Sunday.

Well, I didn't give Kyler Murray too much credit for how he played against Alabama. Instead, I've pointed out the horrible play of Alabama's defenders...guys like Deionte Thompson, Mack Wilson, Savion Smith, etc. Who had more to do with the games Fromm, Murray, and Lawrence had than they did. Bama's defense is entirely different with a healthy Trevon Diggs at one cornerback spot. It means Savion Smith is on the sidelines. But Diggs was lost for the season way back during the Arkansas game.

Everybody on this particular board has gone completely overboard in regards to Kyler Murray. Talking about selling the farm for him - drafting him in the top 15, etc. I don't blame 'em....that's just desperate fans being desperate fans. I've never budged off my initial assessment. He might....might... be a top 50 prospect, but not a top 25 prospect in my opinion.

But you're absolutely right in regards to how Alabama has changed to a more finesse approach centered around the quarterback. That's just not who we are. We've never been that. We win championships at Alabama by being physical with a suffocating defense, dominant running game, and a game manager quarterback.

Oklahoma and Ohio St. and USC....let all them have the #1 pick and Heisman Trophy quarterbacks. That's not who we are. Furthermore, it's not how Saban is comfortable coaching.

Let's get back to being Alabama. And I'll guarantee you this - that's exactly what we'll do after Saban has had time to take all this in and re-evaluate himself and his coaches.
 

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I think it says a lot about Clemson that Bama was like a buzzsaw for 14 games and then got mowed down by the Tigers in this fashion. I know that Saban and Bama loyalists will first say that Bama just didn't play well, but I think the Tigers deserve a hell of a lot of credit. Extremely impressive performance.

Some folks were talking up this 2018 Bama team as maybe the best college football team ever a few weeks ago. Wonder if Clemson will get similar consideration?
 

tylerdolphin

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Watching the highlights again this morning and I still can't get over a true freshman standing in there on the biggest stage getting the ball out quickly and throwing strikes while being hit.

Yeah, the Clemson OL had a hell of a game and Lawrence had all day sometimes but it's a huge help when your QB is getting the ball out quick and not flinching when there is pressure.

True freshman. Kid was playing HS ball last season. He's only going to improve.
 

TedSlimmJr

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I think it says a lot about Clemson that Bama was like a buzzsaw for 14 games and then got mowed down by the Tigers in this fashion. I know that Saban and Bama loyalists will first say that Bama just didn't play well, but I think the Tigers deserve a hell of a lot of credit. Extremely impressive performance.

Some folks were talking up this 2018 Bama team as maybe the best college football team ever a few weeks ago. Wonder if Clemson will get similar consideration?

They weren't a buzzsaw for 14 games. There were no issues that showed up last night that hadn't already showed up against Arkansas, or aTm, or The Citadel, or Georgia, or Oklahoma. I saw the same issues in game 15 that I saw in game 1. It's attributed to the losses Bama has suffered in terms of players to the NFL, and coaches moving on to other programs.

Dabo will have to deal with that too at some point as he establishes his own coaching tree. But hasn't had to yet.

Alabama just hadn't developed the leadership on the field to overcome some of the issues....there were no Minkah Fitzpatricks in Alabama's secondary this year.

You're never as good as you look when you win big, and not as bad as you look when you lose big. There are going to be some immediate changes, probably already in progress.

Some of the best Alabama teams I've seen over the past 50 years were teams that didn't win the national title. They were better than some of the Alabama teams that did win it.
 
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mrbunglez

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@TedSlimmJr how would you you compare Clemson’s O line vs Bama D to Bama’s O line vs Clemson D. And what do you say about all this Tua Vs Trevor talk?
 

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Watching the highlights again this morning and I still can't get over a true freshman standing in there on the biggest stage getting the ball out quickly and throwing strikes while being hit.

Yeah, the Clemson OL had a hell of a game and Lawrence had all day sometimes but it's a huge help when your QB is getting the ball out quick and not flinching when there is pressure.

True freshman. Kid was playing HS ball last season. He's only going to improve.
The word 'prodigy' is an apt description of Trevor Lawrence. If I have ever seen a true freshman quarterback more impressive than that, I must have had my memory wiped.

Yeah, I watched him this season and was impressed, but his performance in the national championship game was worthy of notice.
 

TedSlimmJr

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@TedSlimmJr how would you you compare Clemson’s O line vs Bama D to Bama’s O line vs Clemson D. And what do you say about all this Tua Vs Trevor talk?

All you have to do is watch the game. Alabama outrushed Clemson. Bama was able to generate push against Clemson's defensive line, but Clemson stiffened when they had to in the redzone. Our defense doesn't work well without a dominant 'Jack' linebacker to generate pass rush. Christian Miller being out hurt us in terms of being able to get pressure on Trevor. It seemed like Terrell Lewis might be able to play in this game, but that was nixed just before the game. He's a dominant player who missed the entire season after a torn ACL in July. He'll be back healthy next year.

We didn't have any Jonathan Allen's on our defensive line this year. I've said all season Raekwon Davis is overrated by the NFL. Quinnen Williams played well and was disruptive.

Clemson's entire defensive line came back for one reason - to play in this game again. That's the type of leadership we didn't have this year. Clemson's offensive and defensive lines are full of Seniors and Juniors.

Tua and Trevor are both great quarterbacks. One had to deal with pressure last night and the other didn't.
 

finsfanjay13

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But you're absolutely right in regards to how Alabama has changed to a more finesse approach centered around the quarterback. That's just not who we are. We've never been that. We win championships at Alabama by being physical with a suffocating defense, dominant running game, and a game manager quarterback.

Oklahoma and Ohio St. and USC....let all them have the #1 pick and Heisman Trophy quarterbacks. That's not who we are. Furthermore, it's not how Saban is comfortable coaching.

Let's get back to being Alabama. And I'll guarantee you this - that's exactly what we'll do after Saban has had time to take all this in and re-evaluate himself and his coaches.
I wonder if that'll be the directive when Enos takes over at OC.
 

TedSlimmJr

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I wonder if that'll be the directive when Enos takes over at OC.

I'm not sure I wouldn't go outside the program to find a different OC. I'm also not sure if Enos has been promised that job.

He's the QB coach, and I haven't seen much development in Tua this season. He still hasn't been coached that it's ok to throw the ball away sometimes or hit your checkdown if the big play isn't there. Tua is the best quarterback in the country by far at knowing where to go with the football pre snap - and nobody is even a close second - but he struggles to come off that initial assessment when the coverage changes post snap. That's what Georgia and Clemson did to confuse him a little bit and bait him into the 2 interception games. They played him top down, and were able to get pressure.

Tua needs to be coached on how to be more patient. Sometimes you just have to take what the defense is allowing you.
 
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Awsi Dooger

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I read on CanesInsight this afternoon that Nick Saban already realizes the way Alabama was playing on offense had softened the short yardage capability and the team in general. I didn't see the related article but the poster on that site said that Saban plans to return to a more power based approach next season.

I'm not surprised Saban figured it out so quickly, Most coaches would be in denial, especially older head coaches. I've seen it happen with Don Shula and Bobby Bowden, among others. They are so thrilled to have this new offensive toy. Hey, now we don't have to work as hard. No need to dislodge huge human beings. That is so annoying and time consuming. Just throw it over their head. Hold serve. Win the scoreboard. What could possibly go wrong?

It will forever be unbelievable that Don Shula is credited for adapting to Marino, instead of sacrificing everything he always believed in, toward nothing but a cupcake team. Some of us who were old enough to see the Shula Colts and '70s Dolphins were not gullible enough to be fooled. It was not Tom Olivadotti. It was what Don Shula allowed to happen via the offense he employed and the very natural softening of the entire team as a result.

Nick Saban essentially saved college football from its worst instincts, those cupcake instincts. Early this decade I saw posts on the USC forums insisting that the Oregon style would rule the college football world, and everyone who did not follow suit would be vanquished into low scoring oblivion. I laughed and argued that it was exactly the opposite. The fact that so many schools were now following the lazy offensive approach meant that Alabama had very few serious challengers, as long as Saban continued to emphasize power based offense and physical stifling defense. The number of serious national title challengers had essentially been cut in half, and then cut in half again, simply by forfeiting the physical realities of the sport in favor of prancing offense.

Saban had a big strong team standing alongside him last night. One of my favorite words is pathetic. And indeed those images were pathetic...a huge rugged team that goes through the most intense and sophisticated strength and conditioning program in the country under Scott Cochran, now looking like a parody of itself solely based on the offensive style it chose to employ.

And if Alabama continued that type of offense, then corners would gradually be cut everywhere. We don't need to be as big and strong. We don't need to actually get low on the goal line, as opposed to standing up and allowing Clemson -- or whomever -- to shove us backward like we're Oregon State. If Saban retains this type of offense, then he is volunteering himself back into the pack. Advantage not gone but severely diminished. One of many. The next quarterback won't be as special as Tua. But the team will be even softer. Inevitable big picture cycle.

Don't believe for one second that the quitting aspect that Slimm mentioned last night is not directly attributable to this type of offense. The blue collar teams do not quit. Ballerina teams quit.

College football needs Nick Saban and Alabama to regain that physical and stylistic edge. I never overreact to one game. Alabama is fully capable of returning to this spot and owning the trenches against Clemson. That doesn't guarantee victory but it is a huge step. Then you have to take your chances that Lawrence and all the freak show athletes on the Clemson receiver core don't narrowly dictate the outcome.

BTW, I can't depart without saying it was unfortunate that Ohio State was not in the playoffs the past two seasons. Mega talented team with the proper style. I don't think Saban would have gotten so oblivious to his poor choices on offense if he saw an Urban Meyer team pounding it straight ahead while also owning the clever offensive wrinkles. These basic straight ahead runs can have plenty of distractive frosting, as the Buckeyes prove annually.
 

mrbunglez

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Sabans game last night was reminiscent of Gases playcalling in terms of the offense. It was garbage he got too cute for his own good.
 
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