FOG alert for Bama fans who just don't understand hoops
Today's PSA is a FOG alert. It's for Crimson Tide fans who may not know or care that their beloved University of Alabama competes in sports other than football. Those tunnel-visioned Tiders are affectionately known to their crimson brethren as Football-Only Gumps. Hence, FOG.
While searching for scoop on Nick Saban's ongoing hunt for not one but two coordinators, the FOGs may have stumbled across this final score Saturday: Oklahoma 93, Alabama 69. Imagine their reaction.
WTF? Wasn't Alabama ranked No. 2 in the nation? Wasn't Oklahoma unranked? What in the name of Avery Johnson is going on down there? Alabama doesn't lose by 24 points to anyone in anything. At least, not since the 2019 College Football National Championship Game, but you know Tua was hurt.
They want a new arena? How about we chisel a brick out of the perfectly fine one we got and airmail it to the office of one Nate Oats?
If this or any similar thought ran through your head as the Sooners ran through the Tide like spit through a tin horn, calm down. Listen up. This PSA is for you: This ain't football, and this is not March.
Get it? Got it? Good.
Are there legitimate reasons for concern for a team that is now 18-3 overall after losing for the first time in 42 days? Yes, there are. Alabama gave up 100 points in its last defeat to Gonzaga in December in Birmingham. It allowed 82 points in its only other setback against UConn in November in Portland.
A team that woke up Saturday ranked No. 5 in the nation in defensive efficiency, a team that did not allow more than 69 points during the nine-game win streak that would get snapped, has on rare occasions appeared defenseless. It happens. Teams, especially at home, can get hot. See the Third Saturday in October.
One Oklahoma player scored a season-high 30 points, more than his total for the previous three games combined. Another added a career-high 26. As a team, the Sooners had scored more than 80 points this season only once before posting 50 in the first half and finishing with 93.
Of equal concern for Oats at the moment is a weeklong inability to generate much offense. In its first 19 games, Alabama scored in the 60s only twice, the last time on Black Friday. It has done so in each of the last two games, the struggle to get past Mississippi State and the beatdown at Oklahoma.
As Oats said afterward, “To be honest with you, I don’t think we’ve been playing great for a couple of weeks. We definitely lost our edge a little bit. and they got us at the right time.”
This would be the time to address the painfully obvious and obviously painful, not in search of an excuse but an attempt at understanding. The time frame Oats mentioned coincides with the aftermath of Alabama player Darius Miles getting arrested on capital murder charges in the Jan. 15th shooting death of Jamea Jonae Harris. Miles is no longer with the team or the university, but you don't sever the ties he had with his teammates or move on from that kind of tragedy so easily.
Read the rest of Kevin's explanation that one game in basketball means little in the big picture. Only in The Lede.