Despite getting thumped in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game by the Clemson Tigers, the Alabama Crimson Tide are still considered by many as the cream of the crop in college football heading into the 2019 season. That should surprise absolutely no one given the program’s run under head coach Nick Saban, but there are a few in the industry who don’t see this team as elite.
That was very apparent when some anonymous coaches spoke to Lindy’s Sports for its SEC football preview magazine. There are some serious doubters about the Tide this season, especially with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the defense. One coach even believes Alabama is going to lose multiple games, which hasn’t happened since before the CFP was formed in 2014.
Yes, these are some real takes, and were highlighted by 247Sports.
When it comes to Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the opinions are often night and day. The junior signal caller has either been showered with ridiculous praise or called highly overrated. Sure, he might have struggled a tad in Alabama’s A-Day Game, but this was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in his first year as a starter and is an early favorite to win it this year.
Still, there are some haters out there who believe the 21-year-old Hawaii native is too arrogant.
“I think Tua needs to humble himself. I think he did some bad things in the bowl game that cost the team because he put himself ahead of the team. He needs to understand Alabama won national championships by playing great defense and special teams and not beating itself. In the national championship game, the quarterback play was atrocious, and some would say the play-calling, too.”
— Anonymous Coach in Lindy’s Sports, via 247Sports
In 2018, Tua Tagovailoa picked apart defenses better than anyone in the country. He completed 69 percent of his passes for nearly 4,000 yards with 43 touchdowns, six interceptions and even scored five rushing touchdowns. He was incredible for most of last season, but everyone remembers Jalen Hurts (now at Oklahoma) saving him in the SEC title game against the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta and the CFP title game struggles against Clemson.
The buck didn’t stop with Tagovailoa. The anonymous coaches also questioned the Steve Sarkisian experiment at offensive coordinator and the defense, which lost key pieces like defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to the 2019 NFL Draft.
“They’ve got holes in the defense,” the coach said, via 247Sports. “I can see them losing 2-3 games. They lost (linebacker) Mack Wilson. They’re missing guys up front. Raekwon Davis didn’t play that well last year.”
So there you have it. Tua needs to humble himself. Sark needs to not suck. The defense needs to get better in a hurry, according to some coaches.
Let’s just hope Alabama doesn’t find out who this coach is and that coach better hope the Tide aren’t on the schedule this season. It could get ugly.