Alabama football fans spent most of the 2022 season looking at subpar product. The defense was solid but nothing special and struggled to find footing in Alabama’s biggest games. Offense was even worse, looking a bit disjointed even at their best performances this season.
The numbers show that the Crimson Tide is still an elite collegiate football team, but that’s hardly the case. Alabama ranks fifth nationally with 40.0 points per game and 11th in defense with 17.2 points per game. These stats are hardly representative of the team that The Tide was all year. This is mainly because the numbers are skewed by a quartet of cupcake games against overpowered opponents.
Alabama defeated Utah State 55-0 in the season opener, UL Monroe 63-7 in week three, Vanderbilt 55-3 in week four and last week Austin Peay 34-0. In those four games, Bama outplayed his opponents with an aggregate score of 207-10. The Crimson Tide averaged 51.8 points while giving up just 2.5 points per contest, for an average margin of almost 50 points per game.
Alabama Football looked mortal against the Power 5 competition
In stark contrast, Alabama only outplayed their opponents in the remaining seven games by 233-179. It has averaged just 33.3 points per game and allowed 25.6 points per game in those games, which make up almost two-thirds of the regular season schedule. That roughly one touchdown lead shows how competitively opposing teams have played against Alabama this year.
Despite the small margin, the Crimson Tide managed to win 5-2 in those games. The two glaring losses will dominate the narrative, but Alabama did a pretty good job of closing out tight contests. Additionally, five of the seven opponents were ranked at the time of the game, and a sixth (Texas) is currently ranked.
Nick Saban’s team have played five games decided by a single possession, and each ended in the final minute of play. Such hard-fought games have been a rarity for much of the Saban era, but they’ve become the norm in the last two seasons.
Alabama football fans are inherently aware that the 2022 team played well below program standards. Still, it can be shocking to skip breakaway games against an inferior opponent and see how mediocre Bama was.
The 2021 Iron Bowl was one of those dreaded nail biters; a four overtime classic at Jordan-Hare that was decided in the final game of the game. It would be on-brand for this 2022 Alabama team to put on a similar performance in Bryant-Denny. Ideally, the Crimson Tide bucks the trend this week and ends its regular season with a lopsided Iron Bowl victory.