According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, the last time an Alabama recruiting class finished outside the top-5 nationally was signed in 2007. The players signed in that class are now in their early 30s, and today’s recruits had yet to begin kindergarten. Eight of the last nine classes to enroll at Alabama arrived as the nation’s No. 1 haul, and the one that didn’t (2018) finished fifth.
So, yeah, Alabama is the most talented team in the country. If winning a game was analogous to climbing a mountain and players were the path that took you to the top, Nick Saban would take a jet pack while most everyone else was stuck on foot.
But just because Saban has players doesn’t mean he’s exempt from problems.
On Wednesday, word broke that Crimson Tide linebacker Dylan Moses is reportedly sidelined for the season with a torn ACL. Moses is undoubtedly Alabama’s best defender, a Butkus Award finalist as a sophomore who collected 86 tackles, 10 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble on the season.
Moses’s injury leaves Alabama with legitimate concerns up the middle of its defense.
They'll be starting at least one true freshman in that spot and possibly two. Behind a true freshman nose tackle. That's… a lot of freshmen.
— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) August 28, 2019
The unfortunate Moses news brings to mind this classic Saban rant from last August.
“You just think, whatever happens we just shit another player and everything’s going to be perfect. Our fans think that, you all think that, that’s what you write about, that’s the message that you send out there. Yeah, I worry about (depth) all the time. I may be the only one, but I do worry about it. So I’m very worried about it.”
Saban then transitioned into a more universal topic, digging down into the essential task of all coaches.
“Every team has problems,” he said. “Look, how you manage problems, the discipline that you have to go about trying to help players improve and get better so they can a role on the team, that’s the most important thing we can do as coaches. We don’t have an opportunity to get any more players right now and I trust and believe in the players we have and we’ve just got to get them better.”