After falling to No. 10 LSU this past Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 7-2 and in danger of missing the College Football Playoff for just the second time in its eight-year history.
While some might chalk up Alabama's poor season to bad luck or an improving SEC, one former Crimson Tide player and current college football analyst seems to think there may be some deeper cracks eroding the foundation of Alabama's football program.
Speaking on Always College Football, Greg McElroy said the following according to a Saturday Down South article posted this morning:
"This is the first time that I have ever actually been concerned about the future of the program… I’ve always thought regardless of where the program was at, as long as Nick Saban was there, they would be fine. Right now, Alabama feels like its at a bit of a crossroads."
Further, McElroy continued by stating what he believes to be the biggest problem facing the Crimson Tide program today and into the immediate future:
"Here’s the problem right now – there are a lot of guys on that roster, and a lot of coaches frankly on that staff, that didn’t really have anything to do with the foundation of the program being created. There’s really only 1 guy that’s been there from the beginning, that has a great understanding of how that program was built, and that’s Nick Saban… There needs to be a legitimate effort from Nick Saban to bring in coaches that understand what this program once looked like and what this program needs to look like."
Unfortunately for Saban, many of his former big-name assistant coaches are currently in better roles with other teams. For example, Kirby Smart, Alabama's defensive coordinator from 2008-2015, left the Crimson Tide to take the head coaching position at Georgia.
Since then, Smart has led the Bulldogs to two College Football Playoff appearances, including their National Championship victory last season.
While likely out of the College Football Playoff race, Alabama is looking to avoid their second straight road loss this Saturday when the Tide take on No. 11 Ole Miss.