The formula for beating Alabama remains the same

Bit of a letdown yesterday for Nick Saban as his Crimson Tide fell to Texas A&M in a massive upset.

Bit of a letdown yesterday for Nick Saban as his Crimson Tide fell to Texas A&M in a massive upset.
Photo: Getty Images

Alabama just got beat for the first time in close to two years on Saturday.

It was one of the biggest upsets in college football over the last few seasons, Alabama is arguably the best team in the country. At their best, only Georgia can stay on the field with them.


But the reason Bama lost yesterday is the same reason they’ve lost all their games in the Nick Saban era. The formula to beat Alabama has remained the same since Saban started having success in 2008. If you can throw the ball accurately and consistently, and your defense can make enough plays to prevent touchdowns, then you’ll be able to beat Nick Saban.

Jimbo Fisher was able to get his players to do that. His quarterback, Zach Calzada, was 21/31 for 285 and three touchdowns and was on the money on every pass in crucial situations. If you look at any upset against the Crimson Tide in the Saban era, more often than not you’ll see a successful quarterback who was able to make throws in tight windows and dissect Alabama’s secondary. Calzada continuously made throws that exposed the Alabama cornerbacks and Fisher continuously put the Alabama defense in conflict all night.

Secondarily, the defense was able to make some crucial plays that held off Alabama on the goal line and forced the Crimson Tide into turnovers or to settle for field goals in pivotal spots throughout the game.

Teams need to make big-time plays in order to beat a Nick Saban-led squad, and even then they still need to pray that they start looking like the second coming of the Tennessee Volunteers. Any college football team must be clicking on all cylinders to take down the GOAT.


Don’t get used to this; there’s a reason it doesn’t happen very often. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bama is still holding the national championship trophy up even after this hiccup in College Station. Oklahoma still has some tough games against Iowa State and Oklahoma State, and as we know, the CFB season can be unpredictable.

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