One month into the college football season, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide have played the part of the country’s most dominant program, but even the great teams need to take a break.
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama’s preseason schedule was daunting as many “ohhed” and “ahhed” at the challenge of two top ten teams in the first three weeks of the season. Pundits stood on their pedestal, exclaiming that it would be the perfect storm for either the Michigan Wolverines or Arkansas Razorbacks to topple the Tide and expose a rebuilding team from Tuscaloosa.
As the first kick of the season boomed off the tee, Alabama was quick to show it was their opponents who were rebuilding, the Crimson Tide were just reloading. Five top 5 recruiting classes left Alabama head coach Nick Saban with a roster he had hand picked, players that were perfect for his system.
They took their act on the road and brought it home, delivering impressive performances in every venue. The gauntlet was thrown, but the Crimson Tide washed away those who came in their path, often times in impressive fashion
But that doesn’t mean the road thus far has been easy. No, there have been and will always be stumbling blocks on any journey.
The Wolverines from Michigan burned Alabama defensive backs for big plays, not once, but twice. Then the Crimson Tide struggled to focus for the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers.
Then Alabama played almost flawlessly (a statement Saban would refute at his weekly press conference just two days later) against Arkansas, but struggled to execute the following week against an athletic Florida Atlantic team. Finally, after dealing with the nonstop tempo of the Ole Miss Rebels, Alabama can take a breath.
During the bye week Alabama will not only have a chance to rest up, but a chance to shore up their shortcomings in the secondary and reignite their explosive offense that looked unstoppable at the start of the season. The bye will also give the Tide a chance to regroup after losing three key contributors on offense to season ending knee injuries.
A strength at the beginning of the season, the running back corps’ depth is razor thin after the losses of Jalston Fowler and Dee Hart, as the question is asked among fans who might be moved into the backfield to provide additional depth. At wide receiver, Amari Cooper’s role may have been increased as the freshman will be forced to grow up fast upon the injury of DeAndrew White.
Yes, the bye week will provide a chance to polish up the act and provide an opportunity for others to step up in place of their injured teammates; come October 13th, the Tide will rise again.