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No. 10 Alabama in unfamiliar territory — out of contention

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Bryce Young was 9 years old the last time Alabama played a regular-season game without national championship implications.

That was five national titles ago.

Now, thanks to two ever-so-slender defeats – by a total of four points – Young and the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide (7-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) are almost certainly back in that scenario for the first time since that 2010 team went 10-3.

Downright disastrous by the stratospheric standards of Nick Saban‘s ‘Bama teams.

“I know people have kind of written us off to some degree,” Saban said on Monday. “But at the same time, I think we have a lot of pride as an organization. I think we need to focus on what it takes to win games. Play the game, win the game, prepare for the game.”

Alabama must regroup in time to visit Lane Kiffin and No. 11 Mississippi (8-1, 4-1) on Saturday.

FanDuel sportsbook has installed the Tide as 11 1/2-point favorites, but both losses have come on the road. LSU is in the driver’s seat of the SEC West with essentially a two-game lead thanks to wins over Alabama and Ole Miss.

The Tide figures to be heavily favored in its last two games. against Austin Peay and struggling rival Auburn. Now, the challenge isn’t playing with the pressure of staying in the national title hunt, it’s playing well without that prospect.

“I think it’s a challenge, but at the same time I think we’ve still got a lot to play for,” defensive end Byron Young said. “We’ve got to play for the name on the back of our jerseys. We’ve got to play for the `A’ on the front of it.

“And we’ve got to play for everybody that’s beside us because I’m gonna come in here every single day and work just like I’m going to play for a national championship next Saturday. And that’s what I expect everybody else to do.”

Alabama has…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/no-10-alabama-unfamiliar-territory-231623753.html?src=rss

Author : NBC Sports

Publish date : 2022-11-07 23:16:23

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