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Fire, Saban! What does the Tide need to change for 2023?

It’s time to fire, Saban!

Get rid of Alabama’s coordinators.

After its second loss in three games the Tide’s playoff hopes are done, so it’s time to look ahead to next season. That starts with finally getting rid of Pete Golden and Bill O’Brien.

Is it time to panic for the entire program? Not really. Alabama has adjusted to an ever-changing game over the years to rise above and win more national championships.

But we’d be lying if we said it just feels different this time.

Is the dynasty over? Probably not. As long as storied programs like LSU and Tennessee rush the field (shame on y’all) after a win against Alabama, the Tide remains the standard.

How many fans have it worse than Alabama fans? Most of them. The season has been a challenging one for programs like Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and even some schools outside of those two states.

Auburn fans have had a thing or two to grumble about during the finally-over Bryan Harsin administration. Purdue’s train mascot even stalled midfield Saturday. If that’s not an analogy for the school’s entire program, we don’t know what is.

The point is: things could be worse, Alabama fans.

IS THE SEASON REALLY OVER?
Yes. LSU would have to lose to both Arkansas and Texas A&M – and Alabama would have to win out for the Tide to make it to the conference championship. Regardless, a two-loss Alabama team likely wouldn’t make the playoffs.

What’s worse? Alabama is projected right now to play Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Imagine a bowl game more annoying and with less on the line for Tide fans.

HOW BAD COULD THIS SEASON GET?
It depends. If Alabama losing two games, then losing to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, is just as bad as going 0-12, nothing else matters.

For those still watching Alabama’s season, the Tide travels to Oxford next week in a very lose-able game. With Lane Kiffin’s offense, the over/under for how many pass interference flags Alabama draws Saturday has to be 4.5.

Then Alabama hosts Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 26. While the Iron Bowl this year is likely to conclude like Gene Chizik’s final game at Auburn, if you think this ridiculous game can’t turn sideways fast – you haven’t been paying attention.

WHY ARE YOU SO DOWN ON ALABAMA?
Penalties. We’ve been saying it all year. On the road, Alabama leads the nation in penalties committed (12.8) and penalty yards (105.8).

Think about that. If you’ve hosted Alabama, you’re basically guaranteed a touchdown and the ball at midfield before the clock starts.

Also, it took 60 minutes to beat Texas A&M this year. That’s why we’re so down on Alabama.

NEW COORDINATORS AND MORE
Plenty more needs to be done on top of simple personnel moves. Years ago when offensive schemes shifted to heavily favor rushing quarterbacks, Saban adapted with the game on both sides of the ball. When transfer rules let players switch teams more easily, he warned the world how it would let teams like Alabama get richer – then proceeded to manipulate the system to make Alabama richer.

The next shift in college football is employing big, long and tall wide receivers that can do anything. And Saban missed a chance over the past two years to adapt to that in the secondary – his own position on the field.

And it’s all Bill O’Brien’s fault. O’Brien’s offense was just good enough last year to use a second chance in the SEC championship to make it to the playoffs. His offense was just good enough to lose to Georgia in the title game.

We’ve seen top tier college football teams recruit long tight ends and tall wide receives, and Alabama’s defensive backs have stayed the same.

The physical makeup of the Tide’s secondary has to change. And it’s not changing because Bill O’Brien’s offense looked successful last year. It was flat-footed, but it worked.

WHAT’S THE FINAL VERDICT?
Everyone calm down. The future remains bright. Alabama has emerged from the darkness before. The Tide lost three games in 2010, then turned it around to win multiple national championships.

It’s going to be fine. If it’s not? Fire Saban. No comma.

What did we get wrong? What games are you looking forward to? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram. Listen to Throw the Flag wherever you get your podcasts.

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