The Alabama Crimson Tide are attempting to pick up the pieces after the first loss to Tennessee of the Nick Saban era. 

Alabama lost to Tennessee in Week 7 on a last-second field goal by the Vols, ending a 15-game winning streak against Tennessee.

Tennessee place kicker Chase McGrath (40) readies to kick a last second field goal as holder Paxton Brooks (37) waits to snap during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee won 52-49. 
(AP Photo/Wade Payne)

While losses happen, the way Alabama lost has some raising their eyebrows. 

ALABAMA’S NICK SABAN SAYS TEAM WAS ‘TIGHT’ BEFORE LAST-SECOND LOSS TO TENNESSEE

It was a sloppy game for Alabama, who committed 17 penalties for 130 yards, including seven in the first quarter. There were also mental mistakes for Alabama, who had an egregious special teams mistake in the second quarter that led to seven points for the Vols. 

“I saw a lot of troubling signs, Stephen A. [Smith], and what I saw the most are a bad trajectory for Alabama,” Paul Finebaum said on “First Take” Tuesday. “They’re going the wrong direction. 

College Football: Alabama head coach Nick Saban looks on vs Tennessee during a game played at Neyland Stadium. Knoxville, Tennessee.

College Football: Alabama head coach Nick Saban looks on vs Tennessee during a game played at Neyland Stadium. Knoxville, Tennessee.
(Carlos M. Saavedra/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

“I mentioned it earlier about the penalties. This is an undisciplined team, Stephen A. And if I can say this to you without you going apoplectic, this is not a well-coached team. I know who the coach is. He’s Nick Saban, but this is the third time this year he’s been out-maneuvered and out-coached by the other guy. Alabama could easily, easily have lost three games.”

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It’s not the first time this season that Alabama has appeared to be undisciplined, with the Crimson Tide committing 10 penalties for 101 yards against Arkansas and 15 penalties for 100 yards against Texas. 

Prior to Saturday’s loss at Tennessee, Alabama managed to remain undefeated despite serious scares from Texas and Texas A&M.

Against the Texas Longhorns in Week 2, Alabama needed a game-winning drive from Bryce Young after going down 19-17 with 1:29 left in the fourth quarter, and the Crimson Tide needed a goal-line stop to beat Texas A&M 24-20 in Week 6. 

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the first quarter of the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 15, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the first quarter of the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on Oct. 15, 2022 in Knoxville, Tennessee. 
(Donald Page/Getty Images)

“It took a last-second field goal against Texas,” Finebaum continued. “It took a stop against A&M. And we saw what happened Saturday. This is the wrong way and this team is missing on all cylinders. The offensive line is weak. The defensive secondary, where Nick Saban coaches Stephen A., got burned repeatedly in that game. You saw that. 

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“I don’t know where it’s going. It’s not over. They still have a path. They still have Nick Saban. But you tell me: How does he come out of this right now?”

The Alabama defense struggled mightily against Tennessee’s up-tempo offense, allowing 567 yards and seven touchdowns on the day. 

The Crimson Tide will face No. 24 Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa in Week 8 of the college football season.  

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