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Beating Alabama under Nick Saban has always been a monumental task (there’s a reason A&M has only done it once in ripe tries), however in current seasons, Bama has actually been much more than a roadblock. They’ve been a river that sweeps far the roadway completely. And also it’s the superior potency that Alabama’s offense that has actually made the tall speak of beating castle seem nearly impossible. The Tide have actually been ranked in the peak three in the nation in scoring offense in each of the previous three seasons, which merged with their still an extremely talented defense, has actually meant adversaries need to play an practically perfect game (or have actually Bama do some really uncharacteristic mistakes) to have actually a chance.
But in 2021, probably there’s a opportunity that changes.
It’s straightforward to look in ~ the talent that simply departed this offense and make the case that maybe they’ll take it a action backward. After ~ all, they just had five offensive football player taken in the very first round the the 2021 NFL breeze (WR Jaylen Waddle, WR DeVonta Smith, QB Mac Jones, OT Alex Leatherwood and also RB Najee Harris). They also had two various other offensive linemen bring away in later rounds, so there will indeed be some brand-new faces top top the field this fall. Yet keep in mind the Bama had 4 offensive football player taken in the very first round of the 2020 NFL Draft...and 4 taken in the very first three ring of the 2019 draft. Allude being, till proven otherwise, us should more than likely assume the the players who step into brand-new roles in 2021 will certainly be just as stunner talented as the persons who just left. Alabama recruits at unmatched levels, for this reason the players on the ar will be an excellent enough to have actually an amazing offense for the foreseeable future.
But what about the coaching staff?
Could this amount of coaching turnover take that offense from absurdly an excellent to just very good? Absolutely.
As you no doubt have heard, Alabama attack Coordinator Steve Sarkisian departed Tuscaloosa this offseason to end up being the head coach at Texas, and he likewise took a great chunk that the Tide’s attack staff with him in TE/Special groups Coach Jeff Banks, OL Coach Kyle Flood and Analyst A.J. Milwee (now UT’s QB Coach). In addition, Bama RB Coach Charles Huff has actually taken the head coaching project at Marshall. Therefore suffice come say, the Alabama offense will be in really different hand this season, and the biggest of those hand (metaphorically, i don’t actually understand the hand sizes of Bama’s staff) belong to invoice O’Brien.
Scoring violation ranks that Bill-O’Brien-coached teams
Penn State (NCAA)2012: 62nd (29.1 pts/gm)2013: 69th (28.7 pts/gam)
Houston Texans (NFL)2014: 14th (23.3 pts/gm)2015: 22nd (21.2 pts/gm)2016: 29th (17.4 pts/gm)2017: 17th (21.1 pts/gm)2018: 11th (25.1 pts/gm)2019: 14th (23.6 pts/gm)2020: 19th (24.0 pts/gm)
Will Alabama’s offense sink everywhere close to this numbers? Of food not. Together I stated above, they’re merely too talented to be outright bad. However could this amount of coaching turnover (and a coordinator who has spent the past decade running middling offenses) take that violation from absurdly great to just really good? Absolutely. I could even lean toward it being likely. Since what around O’Brien’s background running one offense renders you think he can maintain the high levels we’ve viewed from Alabama the past three seasons?
Those Bama teams from 2012-2017 score an median of 37.5 points per game. Their violation in 2018-2020 averaged 47.1 points every game. Almost 10 allude per game. That’s the sort of dive that might make a watch invincible Alabama team vulnerable.
So intend that the 2021 Bama offense comes down off the highs of the Sark/Michael Locksley (who is now the HC at Maryland) levels and also settles earlier in to whereby they were under Brian Daboll (now the OC for the Buffalo Bills) roadway Kiffin (now the HC at Ole Miss) and also Doug Nussmeier (now the QB Coach because that the Dallas Cowboys). Not an epic collapse by any type of stretch that the imagination, simply a regression to the mean. From 2012-2017, the Alabama offense never ranked worse 보다 30th nationally in scoring offense, however they additionally never ranked greater than 12th. Lock were always good, sometimes very very good. Yet were through no means an unstoppable force. Essentially it was an offense with elite talent and an excellent (but no great) coaching.
You may think that difference between an violation ranked in the optimal 15-30 and an violation ranked in the optimal three is fairly negligible, yet it’s in reality pretty massive. Those Bama groups from 2012-2017 score an median of 37.5 points per game. Their offense in 2018-2020 averaged 47.1 points per game. That’s a virtually 10-points-per-game difference. That’s the kind of dip that might make a look at invincible Alabama team vulnerable.
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Obviously Texas A&M would still should play their ideal game of the year in order to beat the Crimson Tide. Most likely their best game in numerous years, in fact. Yet Jimbo Fisher has actually been building a roster and also a society with the single intention of competing with teams choose Alabama, and also 2021 could just it is in the first year that his team is prepared to take on the challenge.