As the 2010 season approached, Nick Saban was adamant about one thing: Alabama was not defending anything. When it comes to the national title and maybe the SEC Championship, he appears to be right, though not for the reasons he thought.
Alabama's second loss to LSU on Saturday all but eliminates them from the race for the national title. At this point, it would take a truly bizarre series of events to get the Tide into the BCS Championship Game. And we're not even talking 2007; multiple teams would have to lose at least one game and as many as four would have to lose two.
What has to really smart for Alabama fans is the fact that the Tide's hopes for an SEC West title are also on the edge. The Tide needs Auburn to lose next week against Georgia -- as does LSU -- and the Bayou Bengals to drop at least one of their games against Ole Miss and at Arkansas. And then the Tide have to take down Auburn themselves.
As noted, LSU is in slightly better position right now, though they need some help as well. The Bengals need to win out and see Auburn lose two, or have one loss and an Alabama loss to Mississippi State plus the 0-2 record by Auburn.
All of which, of course, seems more than a bit unlikely. Auburn is still in the driver's seat. And, barring a mistake, they will be there for the rest of the season.