By losing to Louisiana-Monroe last night, the Crimson Tide has turned what could have been an acceptable rebuilding season into a debacle. Tide fans, God bless them, are notoriously unforgiving of such losses, the biggest reason being that they occur so rarely throughout Alabama history. This was one of the worst losses in Crimson Tide history, arguably much worse than the UCF loss homecoming day in 2000. This one stings.
Eight in the Box says that the team with the most heart won this game:
The 2007 Tide football team has a lot of talkers, and not many doers. Last week much was made of the Tide's post game locker and all of the bluster by the team over the poor performance against Mississippi State. That was wasted energy.Wasted, indeed. It isn't as if this team was coming off a win -- in fact, now they have dropped three in a row, and in the SEC, that is a serious slump, especially with perhaps the most bitter rivalry game in America coming up next week.
Memphis Tider is embarrassed:
I could take losses to SEC competition.Ouch. Kentucky fans know well how that feels after their basketball team dropped a game to "Gardner-who?". I feel your pain, and I wish I didn't.
Even Mississippi State on the road.
I could handle non-conference neutral site losses to BCS teams like Florida State.
But a 21-14 loss to Louisiana-Monroe on Senior Day is unacceptable.
The Tide Druid has an apology post. He apologizes to his readers, Mississippi state, Auburn, the SEC ... pretty much everyone that counts. And of course, just to make me feel as bad as he does, he invokes "Gardner-who?":
How should one put this into perspective? It’s the Gardner-Webb loss of the football season for Alabama, if not worse. Good night, and Roll Tide.Thanks for that unpleasant memory, TD. But truth be told, if Alabama finds some way to beat Auburn, this game won't hurt quite as bad. Of course, if it doesn't, the recriminations in Tuscaloosa will be a distraction for a long while to come.
Outside the Sidelines at Roll 'Bama Roll tries to make sense of it all, and puts it in historical context:
That is about the worst indictment of this fiasco that could be applied. Alabama has had some relatively poor teams over the last decade, but this loss is one of those inexplicable things that hurts not only the 'Bama faithful, but the image of the entire SEC.
Bottom line: This loss is as bad as it seems, and probably worse. It could be the worst single loss for Alabama since the arrival of Bear Bryant.
Now SEC fans must must listen to insufferable Pac-10 and Big East proponents (Appy State helpfully insulated us from insults from the Big 10) about how one of the SEC's flagship programs couldn't beat 3-6 (now 4-6) Louisiana-Monroe from the mighty Sun Belt conference on senior day in Tuscaloosa. It's one thing if Mississippi State gets crushed by West Virgina in Morgantown, but this loss will drag down the entire conference. OTS continues with the upside:
In his first season at LSU, Saban experienced a similar loss when his Bayou Bengals fell to lowly Alabama-Birmingham when they were coming off a painful conference loss on the road to Auburn. In many ways, that loss very much resembles today when his Crimson Tide fell to lowly Louisiana-Monroe when they were coming off a painful conference loss on the road to Mississippi State. In the grand scheme of things, the loss to UAB didn't slow down LSU one bit, and no one should expect the loss to ULM to slow down Alabama.Probably true. But despite LSU's comparably recent ascension to SEC prominence, Alabama has a long and storied history of football success. In a 12 game season, a loss like this is impossible to recover from, perception-wise. Until Saban proves otherwise, this is still the Alabama team of Mike Shula, is it not?. The change to Saban so far has not produced the kind of improvement even the most glass-half-full Alabama fan would have hoped for -- it's not as if we are early in the season here. I hate to say that, but this Alabama team is 6-5 and hasn't beaten a single team they weren't supposed to beat, and lost to *ahem* Louisiana Monroe and has won exactly two road games in the SEC, both against the weakest teams in their respective divisions.
Shining the harsh light of reality on the Tide gives me no joy, and I actually hope Saban restores this great program to it's historical splendor. Seeing Alabama play this poorly at home on senior day is simply ... well ... it just ain't right. That is something you expect from Vanderbilt, the Mississippi's or Kentucky. Not Alabama.