Was Alabama’s Nick Saban right on fourth down?

The Alabama Crimson Tide claimed victory with a fourth down conversion. Was it the right call?

It was something the players wanted to do as pointed out in the AP story you can read below. According to the report great teams play this way, “Right now, no team in college football should be playing more fearlessly than Alabama.” So, was it the right call?

28 Comments

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  1. 1
    Crimsonite

    I was yelling go for it from the start. Do not give Mallet the ball back. But I didn’t think McElroy would sneak it. I was hoping he would put in Richardson instead of Ingram since his superior leg strength make him better on short yardage. Let Richardson follow 360lb Fluker and nobody will ever stop him for less than a yard. Hell, or even 245lb Jalston Fowler behind Fluker. In fact if our defense doesn’t discover how to get a pass rush equal to last year real damn quick I think Saban should consider putting Fluker at nose guard where Cody played. Defense was his position in high school until his senior year at Foley when they needed a big O lineman to open holes for their running QB. I don’t understand why there seemed to be no dropoff last year when Cody would come out on passing situations, and this year nobody can get free in the backfield to get to the QB. If Chapman can’t occupy two linemen to free up the rush, then we need someone who can. And that would be Fluker. He was signed to replace Andre Smith on the left side. But he didn’t make it last year and now he’s playing right side. Lots of guys can play right side. I say put him on D at nose guard and De Ja Vu – Cody II. RTR!

  2. 3
    Bobby

    Whoever wrote this, or came up with the question, is a complete idiot. They should never be allowed to write again. That is the dumbest question that I’ve ever heard. “Was it the right call?” Did he make it?? Then it was the right call. Idiots.

  3. 4
    capstonereport

    Bobby you are the fucking idiot. It is a common question to ask regarding what to do on fourth down. Just because something worked once doesn’t make it the right call–it just means it worked. Fourth downs are special and it always benefits us to ask what the right strategy is in any given situation.

  4. 6
    capstonereport

    No, the RIGHT call is the call that gives you the maximum advantage with the least amount of risk.

    Your response shows an ignorance of tactical or strategic thinking.

  5. 7
    capstonereport

    I think it was the right call; however, I’m not a fan of going for it on fourth down very often since it is done too often by aggressive coaches, ie: New England’s game against the Colts.

  6. 9
    finebammer

    the only thing that bothered me about it was the refs.

    i didn’t feel like we were getting fair spots all day.

    on that particular play we got a crappy spot but it was good for the first down anyway.

    otherwise, i liked the call.

  7. 10
    capstonereport

    Alas, you’ll never learn anything about strategy. Sometimes, things work and sometimes they don’t. In general, a coach or investor or general will attempt to mitigate risk and maximize advantage. Did Saban’s decision do that? And the reply isn’t that he converted for a first down. Duh. No shit Sherlock. It could as easily have been the right call had Alabama not converted. The outcome doesn’t determine the rightness or wrongness of Saban’s decision—sure it is nice the outcome matched what the coach wanted.

  8. 11
    Bobby

    If the goal of the call was achieved, then it was the right call. You obviously have never learned anything about achieving goals or football. Haha.

  9. 12
    capstonereport

    I’m sure you are a real football expert. It is obvious you can’t grasp that outcomes are different from what makes a choice right or wrong. Sometimes you can make the right call, such as kicking a field goal, but the outcome be bad (such as the kicker missing the overtime kick.)

  10. 13
    Bobby

    You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. Your responses clearly show that. Anyway, I have some “calls” to make. I bet if the “calls” achieve their goal then they are the right ones. Hahaha. Have an excellent night.

  11. 14
    capstonereport

    You are an idiot. However, one more time. Think about the Saints-Falcons game today. The Saints had the ball first down inside the 20 and attempted a field goal to end overtime.

    Was it the right call?

    Yes. You have to end the game and you are in an area where a kicker 99% of the time makes the field goal. Now, the kicker missed it.

    By your rule, you’d say it was the wrong call.

    That is absurd. The Saints took the least amount of risk for the best reward, and the choice failed—not because it was wrong but because there are flukes in every situation. ie: Alabama could have gotten a bad spot, or bad snap. Outcomes are only part of the equation. You have to study situations like this to fully understand the tactical and strategic implications.

  12. 15
    Bobby

    Nope, that’s the wrong call idiot. They should have got closer. I don’t have time to prove you wrong all night. Have a good night. Don’t make any more wrong calls.

  13. 17
    capstonereport

    Get closer than about the 10? You are a complete idiot.

    In the NFL a kicker is automatic inside the 20. Usually. Getting closer increases the angle. Running more plays increases the chances of injury.

    But you know more than NFL coaches.

  14. 18
    capstonereport

    I’m not Shane, but what do you want me to see via Google? Never mind, you are making fun of the AP guy saying that since it is in Little Rock and not Fayetteville where the game was played. Good catch.

  15. 20
    capstonereport

    No problem. Lots of people assume that since we ran his columns. But that was a good catch as I completely missed it and I read the AP column about 3 times today before posting it.

  16. 21
    Onemoregame

    War Memorial just popped into my head earlier today thinking about the game and I realized the difference.

    And you’re right, I was trying to make fun of Shane. He’s such an easy target.

  17. 23
    ITK

    The reasons it was the right call to go for it on 4th down and inches is this:

    1. You’re on the road in a hostile environment.

    2. You’re competing against a passing team with a legitimate quarterback with a strong arm.

    3. You have a young secondary that has played well since the first half, but is still vulnerable.

    4. You have a strong offensive line and the Heisman Trophy winner in your backfield.

    5. You need six inches to win the game with one shot.

    Case in point, you do it. It wasn’t the right call because it worked out, it was the right call because it was the shortest route to victory.

  18. 24
    Crimsonite

    It was the right call because champions play to win. They don’t play to not lose such as Notre Dame and Michigan State circa ’66. It was gutsy, classy, confident. I liked it good results or bad. It made me proud to be a Mullet. Bwaa Haww Haww! RTR!

  19. 25
    gritty elephants

    You play to your strengths. I had no doubt that they should go for it. The strength this year is the O, not the D. Had we had last year’s D, I’d say punt. It’s a no-brainer – they had to go for it.

  20. 28
    Alex Hamilton

    Wow Cap. You got mad as heck there. Good to know you are testy at times.

    I’ll tell you, ITK, and Damage Inc., where to park for free, but you got to get there early and have a beer with me and the fellas. Plus, no smelly BO post game. Would be my thank you to you for putting up this site. I’d offer you food too if you’d get rid of the popups on the site.

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