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Beware of a one-loss Alabama team

There is one truth we’ve learned during the Nick Saban era: A one-loss Alabama team is a force to be reckoned with.

Terrifying and menacing, no mercy is given to the remaining teams on Alabama’s schedule following a regular season loss. This truth has remained consistent since 2011.

Saban’s “never waste a failing” mantra is traditionally met with resounding action from his teams year after year.

After scrapping back from an 18-point deficit in Neyland Stadium, the Tide came up short in heartbreaking fashion last Saturday to a Tennessee program it hadn’t lost to in 16 years.

In defeat, the Tide committed a school-record 17 penalties. The Alabama defense gave up 52 points — a number that hasn’t been posted against the program since 1907.

May we be so foolish to believe this will bury a Saban-coached squad?

If history is any indication as what is to come for the remainder of the 2022 season, we should expect a ruthless response from the Crimson Tide.

In 2011, Alabama lost 9-6 on a last-second field goal to LSU at Bryant Denny-Stadium. The Crimson Tide closed the season with a four-game winning streak, which concluded in Alabama avenging its loss against the Tigers in a dominant BCS National Championship Game victory.

The following year, the Crimson Tide lost at home to a Johnny Manziel-led Texas A&M offense at home by way of a final-minute turnover. As it did in the year prior, Alabama finished the season with a four-game winning streak. The 2012 season was capped off in victory, as the Tide treated Notre Dame to a bloodbath in Miami and once again win the BCS National Championship.

Fast forward three years to when the Tide lost to a Hugh Freeze-coached Ole Miss squad at home 43-37. Alabama, scorned from the loss in a game it should have won, went on to win 12 consecutive games and beat Clemson for the program’s first-ever CFP National Championship.

This trend would repeat itself two years later.

After a gut-wrenching 26-14 defeat in the 2017 Iron Bowl, Alabama finished the season with a victory over Georgia to claim its second CFP National Championship.

For the remainder of the 2022 season, should we expect Alabama, in all of the program’s pride, to simply wave the white flag?

ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, notorious for stoking outrage from SEC fanbases, claims Saban’s dynasty has “slipped.” Comments such as these, coupled with the program’s anger of losing a rivalry game in dramatic fashion, should serve as motivation for the Tide to go scorched earth against those remaining on its schedule.

It is important to note that Alabama has only gone undefeated twice during its reign of dominance under Saban.

If we had any decency about us, college football fans should pray for Mississippi State before Saturday’s game in Tuscaloosa. May we show unrelenting empathy for those scheduled to face Alabama here on out.

Don’t expect the Crimson Tide to “waste a failing.”

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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