The Alabama Crimson Tide are no strangers to going on national title runs after a loss.
Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama has won college football’s final game in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017, despite stubbing its toe in the regular season. The trend in all four of those seasons was that the Tide simply got stronger in defeat.
I don’t exactly knock Bama for losing 41-38 to Texas A&M two Saturdays ago at Kyle Field. That’s one of the toughest places in the country to play and the Tide still erased a 14-point deficit and took a fourth-quarter lead. The Aggies prevailed — despite being outgained 522 to 379 — and you obviously tip your cap.
But sometimes a team needs to experience adversity to unleash its full potential.
Extremely talented teams rise and fall all the time in a given college football season. Getting all those blue chip recruits and NFL prospects to buy-in for the team is arguably the hardest part of leading a high-level program.
Saban is the best in the business because his teams respond. Just ask Mississippi State. The Bulldogs hosted Alabama last Saturday and got railroaded at home 49-9.
Alabama’s offense is still elite, and its defense will tighten down the stretch. The combination of Saban cracking the whip at practice and studying film for endless hours should be more than enough for the Tide to roll through the remainder of their regular season as chalky double-digit favorites.
It’s not like things aren’t correctable with that roster.
“Alabama still has the most talent and potential in the country,” one Las Vegas bookmaker told NESN. “If you don’t understand that, you’re not paying attention. They always get stronger over the course of the season, and it’s almost like Saban needs his team to lose a game every once in a while to remind everybody that they’re not invincible.”
There’s a lot of hype around the Georgia Bulldogs at the moment and it’s very well-deserved. The Dawgs are the consensus national title favorite behind a dominant defense and skilled playmakers on offense. But do you really feel confident that they can best Alabama on a neutral field?
Depending on which oddsmaker you ask, either team could be a small favorite. I find it hard to believe that a sportsbook would open Georgia at -3 or anything like that. Sharp bettors would be ready to unload on Alabama +3 with Saban against former assistant Kirby Smart.
Maybe we’ll see Georgia -1 in the SEC Championship. Maybe.
Either way, I like the Tide’s chances going forward. They’re going to destroy everything in their way until a destined date with the Dawgs in early December. I’ll get ahead of the curve on this one and bet Alabama to win the national championship right now.
Crimson Tide national title odds
+220 FOX Bet ($100 wins $220)
+225 Caesars, PointsBet, WynnBET
+235 Circa Sports
+250 FanDuel, SugarHouse
+300 Westgate SuperBook ($100 wins $300)
If you or a friend are headed to Las Vegas this weekend, grab +300 at the SuperBook. Most of you will have to settle for +250 across the American sportsbooks.
I’ll be very content heading into Alabama-Georgia with +250 in my back pocket.
Alabama to win national title +250
RECORD: (62-61, -4.8)