Alabama’s second half problems examined

Alabama’s good half, bad half routine was the subject of a column by John Adams of the Knoxville News. He summarizes the Tide’s problem thusly:

In its last three games, Alabama has played a first half worthy of Bear Bryant and a second half worthy of Mike Shula. In those three first halves, Alabama has outscored opponents 69-3. In the second half, the combined count is an alarming 61-13 in favor of the opponents.

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Adams looks at Saban’s comments on distraction being part of the problem—where players let outside factors break their concentration. There is also a little wishful thinking for Vol fans—a slight glimmer of hope in his column for them.

That raises the question: Could the second-half fades be a precursor to a wobbly finish to the regular season? If so, the second-ranked Tide might be primed for an upset Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

No one needs an upset more than Tennessee, whose marquee victory in a 3-4 season has been last Saturday’s 34-3 win against 2-5 Mississippi State. An upset of Alabama wouldn’t erase all the losses but it would leave an historical mark.

Tennessee could easily defeat Alabama. But the price looks like they would be forced to keep Phil Fulmer another year. It is almost a win-win for Alabama fans because Fulmer isn’t anywhere near the top of the coaching ranks—and his continuation in Knoxville can only be viewed as a good thing for everyone else in the conference.

But what fan thinks longterm? Everyone wants a win Saturday. And Alabama must end its erratic play to deliver fans what they want.

23 Comments

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  1. 1
    finebammer

    i agree that this is a dangerous game for ‘bama.

    remember all the pre-season pontification about how tough alabama’s schedule was with all the road games against supposedly superior opponents?

    at this point i’d rather ‘bama be playing texas than tennessee. the players are bored. in my estimation this team needs t-bone, not tofu.

    i know i’ve never been less interested in an alabama – tennessee game.

    if alabama wins, they did what they were supposed to do.

    phil fulmer has nothing to lose, everything to gain.

    beating #2 alabama at home at night could save his job.

  2. 2
    intheknow72

    Perspective, folks. Have a little perspective. Our eratic games have been against teams that, let’s face it, are VERY hard to get up for. How do you hate Tulane? Who hates Kentucky (football)? And Ole Miss? Shula only lost to THEM ONCE! Throw a Tennessee on the fire. Toss an LSU in the arena. And heaven forbid, bring that limping Tiger in Auburn out of its cage….and it’s ON. I know we looked bad against Georgia, but the game was over.

    We will handle the Vols as fluidly as Julio* handles himself:

    Alabama 43
    Tennessee 12

    *Not Julio Jones; the Aubsessed Julio who lives for Alabama football.

  3. 3
    Bama Fan In NYC

    Away games don’t seem to worry me as much as the home games do. lol

    We play our best football on the road, and our worst at home. Don’t ask me why that is!

  4. 4
    TrueCrimson

    Home field advantage is a superstitious myth. All football fields are regulation size and the fans aren’t allowed onto the field of play. I am afraid that the younger players on this team are prone to allowing their motivation to fade when they don’t sense strong opposition.

    They have to learn the danger of this frame of mind. Perhaps last week’s game helped them along in that aspect. They finally got behind on the scoreboard, even if it was only for a matter of seconds. Having Cody go down with an injury and having to fight off a late comeback by Ole Miss should have woken them up. I hope so.

    This season doesn’t get any easier. The previous records of their opponents has no bearing on any one particular game. Alabama carries a huge target on their backs and the players have to be kept aware of that. Maybe Coach Saban needs to have them watch last year’s LA Monroe game film occasionally.

    RTR!!!

  5. 8
    Ballplay Indian.

    O.K. Bamaman…..Ill take off my glaasses.

    Tenn 44
    bama14

    Better ?

    Naw really, yall should win this one. But Tennessee has a real bad hate for yall. It would not suprise me if they made a game of it. But I will still go with Tennessee.

  6. 10
    bushsux

    ballplay is most definitely the Corso of this site. I wonder if he’d want to put money on that type of spread taking slUT? I seriously doubt it. He’s all talk.

  7. 12
    OMNIPRESENT

    YES BUSH DOES SUCK!!!!
    I mean like IDIOT suck and so does bushsux too… I just hope we dont get his uncle john into the fold too …..

    BAMA 22
    Tenn 20
    A lil luck will go a long way and Bama may run outta luck at the QB position for this game…..

    WAR POLYTECH BABY!!!

  8. 15
    tmc1

    UT might be improving… They whipped the team that held Auburn to 3 points. I think we will see the bench empty in the 3rd quarter of this one.

  9. 16
    TiderInsider

    Tennessee has shown improvement where as we’ve shown decline. I can imagine it will only be a close game, as it always is, but I can assure you win or lose, the score won’t replicate that of what it was a year ago. RTR!

  10. 17
    BamaBrando

    Tennessee will be a lot like Auburn tonight… both coaches will be coaching to keep their jobs. I think Tubs and Fulmers luck runs out this year, but it would be nice if both schools signed them to lifetime contracts.

  11. 18
    TrueCrimson

    I would like to see an outcome something like 42-7 for Bama. If I had to make an objective guess, it would be more like 20-17 Bama.

    This is a rivalry game and Tennessee can’t be as bad now as they were when they opened the season. Even Miss State pulled out a decent performance vs. LSU. You never know what will happen — but I do expect Bama to win it somehow. I hope it’s not too close. I don’t know how much stress my old ticker can take! 😉

    RTR!!!

  12. 19
    OMNIPRESENT

    Ballplay in this one My friend there is NO RIGHT ANSWER!!! and I do think its FLIPPIN SILLY that Tubbs is worried about his job or BAMMARS are HOPING he gets fired for a bad season … SICK I TELL YA SICK and the bammers want him gone becuase he just happens to have your number and regardless of SABAN or UNDEFEATED Auburn can and very well might win that damn iron bowl

    WAR TOMMY TUBBERVILLE!!!

  13. 20
    BamaBrando

    Omni: I could really care less about Auburn and who the coach is. I don’t obsess on Auburn sites at all. But with that being said, I bet you guys would rather have Saban than Tubbs. Its okay. You can admit it. I won’t tell anyone.

  14. 21
    Bamaman

    Omni, maybe you can get Brando to take that same bet with you that I have with Ballplay on choosing the other guy’s posting name on the outcome of the IB.

  15. 22
    BamaBrando

    Bamaman: With Ballplays great predictions this year, maybe I should take that bet, but it would be like beating up a retarded kid or something.

  16. 23
    BamaBrando

    Plus, that bet is bogus. If Bama spanks that ass this year, all the Auburn guys won’t come back here anyways, but us Bama folks will. Maybe change their name for an Auburn site, now that would make it more of a fair bet.

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