Alabama football supporters have had an emotional week as their 15-game winning streak was snapped by Tennessee. However, they successfully got past that and bounced back this weekend against Mississippi State. Now, it's all systems go for the Crimson Tide as they focus on what lies ahead. The immediate goal is to keep winning and eventually prevail in the SEC West. Here we have four reasons Alabama Crimson Tide football will win the SEC West over bitter rivals Ole Miss and LSU.
No. 6 Alabama easily trounced No. 24 Mississippi State this week to quickly get over their loss to Tennessee last week. Again, this is a win that coach Nick Saban's squad really needed after last week's disappointing defeat. It's also a renewed confidence-builder as the Crimson Tide barely hold on to the top spot in the SEC West.
Remember that last season, Alabama football fell just short of winning the national championship. Despite a blowout triumph against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship, Nick Saban and company were unable to repeat the feat, falling 33-18 in the national title game. Still, Alabama football supporters should be optimistic that the Crimson Tide can win the SEC West and challenge for the national crown anew.
As such, here are the four reasons Alabama Crimson Tide football will win the SEC West over bitter rivals Ole Miss and LSU.
4. Alabama football gets right back up
Any team coached by Nick Saban doesn't take losing lightly. They usually bounce back in a big way, and that's what Alabama did this week. They plastered Mississippi State, 30-6, and they got right back in the driver's seat of the SEC West. They're technically tied with Mississippi with identical 7-1 records, but the Crimson Tide own a slightly better division record (4-1).
In Alabama football's win over Mississippi State, star QB Bryce Young had 249 yards passing and two touchdowns. Star linebacker Will Anderson Jr. had a sack. The secondary also played much better compared to last week. They broke up 15 passes and held Mississippi State QB Will Rogers to only 50 percent completions and no touchdowns.
You have to admire this team for getting right back up the way they did.
3. Their pass rush is elite as heck
A pass rush bannered by Will Anderson Jr. along with Dallas Turner, Chris Braswell, and a few other marquee names is sure-as-heck scary. They are also very difficult to stop. This pass rush is a big reason Alabama football has the lowest total yards allowed figure in the entire SEC West.
Furthermore, coach Saban has around four or five other defensive players who are capable of playing at a high level. We're talking about guys like DJ Dale, Jaylen Moody, Brian Branch, Chris Braswell, and DeMarcco Hellams. Those four guys have a total of 8.5 sacks combined among them.
Of course, anchoring all these is elite defensive player Will Anderson Jr. Remember that he was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American last season. He also led the country in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5). This season, he continues to play really well. He already has six sacks, one interception, and even one touchdown! Anderson just clearly provides the tenacity and leadership that Alabama's defense requires.
2. Nick Saban is Nick Saban
Regardless of how great the Alabama football roster is, every team requires a talented leader. Fortunately for the Crimson Tide, they have exactly that kind of guy in head coach Nick Saban.
He has a 178-25 record with the Crimson Tide, including seven national championships. The truth is that every year with him on the sidelines, Alabama will be a title contender.
Saban should be even more motivated to lead Alabama to the top of college football in 2022. He just extended his deal through 2029. That brings his salary this season to $10.7 million. The figure is the highest for a college football coach in 2022, surpassing even champion Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
Saban is just the kind of coach who makes players look good. It's a product of his team's skills training and conditioning regimen. Of course, we cannot argue with a man who has coached four Heisman Trophy winners. The fact is that the Crimson Tide will always have new guys ready to contribute as long as Saban is the head coach.
1. Bryce Young is still the best QB in college football
It's not every year that a school can boast of having the reigning Heisman Trophy winner back on its roster. That's what Alabama football has with Bryce Young.
Young is back for his junior and presumably last season with the Crimson Tide, and he undoubtedly wants to leave with a championship. Recall that he passed for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in 2021. He was also named a consensus All-American and won several individual honors, including SEC Offensive Player of the Year.
Right now, Young has 2,043 all-purpose yards after seven games. He also has 18 touchdowns to counterbalance his three INTs and eight sacks.
Last season's championship setback to Georgia also certainly left a chip on Young's shoulder. Now, he undoubtedly wants to show that he can also lead a team to a championship. That's the last hardware he wants after receiving the Heisman Trophy last season.
Health has been a bit of an issue for Young this year. He missed their Week 6 game, but he returned to face Tennessee last week even if he was still not 100 percent. He showed a lot of heart and determination in that regard.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner looked as sharp as ever against Mississippi State. He completed 35-of-52 throws for 455 yards and two touchdowns. After such a dominant performance, everyone should actually be talking about Young as the clear Heisman frontrunner had just one or two more balls bounced in their favor.
The truth is that as long as Young is healthy, Alabama football is an elite tea. In fact, we believe they can beat any team in the country if Young plays well. That's a reason they were generally regarded as the No. 1 team in college football before the season started.
Now they have another shot at greatness thanks to the steady hands of Bryce Young.