Every Monday, Nick Saban spends part of the afternoon showing his players the good plays, bad plays, and ugly plays from the previous Saturday.

The good section highlights what the team did well in the game; individual plays, series of plays, moments of the game that went good for the Crimson Tide.

The bad section focuses on plays that were run incorrectly, maybe a play designed to pick up more yardage but failed. It might include simple mistakes, a turnover or just a simple missed block or tackle.

The ugly section could also be called the disaster section, plays that went completely wrong or injuries. Ugly plays are learning moments for the team. Part of discussing the bad and ugly plays includes thinking through what they could have done differently.

Alabama vs. Mercer

Good: Alabama made some great plays, but overall the Tide had a sloppy performance against inferior competition. The good for Alabama is that there is plenty to work on before the Crimson Tide opens up SEC play next Saturday in Gainesville vs. Florida.

I would bet that Professor Saban will have full attention during film sessions. Saban was pretty hot during his post-game press conference, offering concessions to the media at the end of the press conference when he explained to the media that he was not mad at us, but he was frustrated by his team’s mistakes.

Motivation should not be a problem when the Crimson Tide takes the practice field Monday afternoon. Alabama has a chance to be an elite football team, but will require more attention to detail.

One more honorable mention goes to the student section. The student section often takes criticism for being mostly empty during an Alabama vs. FCS matchup, that was not the case today. The student section was pretty full from my view in the press box. However, the people who left empty seats outside of the student section may want to listen Saban’s post practice press conference Wednesday evening or get the cliff notes from one of the students in the front row.


Bad: The slow start for Alabama confirmed what Nick Saban said on Wednesday, that there needed to be more focus. Offensive tackle and core leader, Chris Owens confirmed the mistakes from a player perspective in the media player availability when he recited several of his favorite Saban quotes.

I understand that Mercer gets paid for coming to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide, but when will the SEC realize they are in the entertainment business? Saban has tried to get traction multiple times to move beyond the eight conference games, this would not solve all the scheduling issues but is a step in the right direction. Players are not excited, fans are not excited, media are not excited, and I can only imagine TV executives prefer more meaningful matchups.

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Ugly: Will Anderson’s injury was a scary moment for most Crimson Tide fans. Saban said in the postgame press conference that Anderson’s knee will get checked out and he is questionable for next week against the Florida Gators.

Alabama’s defense has a chance to be elite but only if Anderson is on field. The Crimson Tide cannot afford to lose outside edge rushers in back-to-back weeks to injuries. It will be a long wait until Nick Saban’s press conference Monday at noon for the an update to Anderson’s injury.

Penalties also gets a mention in the ugly section, the Crimson Tide was penalized nine times for 95 yards which is contributed to the lack of focus Alabama displayed throughout most of the game.

Coming up Monday on The Game with Ryan Fowler on Tide 100.9, we will discuss the good, bad, and ugly. You will also have a chance to win a framed Daniel Moore print, “ Unrivaled,” which recognizes Alabama’s 18th National Championship, starting at 2 p.m. CT on Tide 100.9 and on the free Tide 100.9 app.

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