In the wake of the Utah tsunami that engulfed Nick Saban's Alabama football team last Friday, the shreds and shards of the embarrassing loss to the under-appreciated Utes are being examined for evidence of the crime.
Before the game rumors that Assistant Head Coach and defensive co-ordinator Kevin Steele was considering a move to another team. Was he distracted and did this affect the preparation of the defense for Utah?
In the business world this concept is called "short-timing it".
Many bosses (including mine) won't accept two week notices. Why? Because they believe your not focusing on the work at hand. And if you're not focusing on the work at hand, you're into other things.
I've seen it before, hell, I've done it before. In the '80's, due to the nature of the job market, one had to quit one job for another to get a raise. As a result, I've changed jobs many times in the past to climb the ladder. (been with my current job 20 yrs.) Once in my mind I knew I had another job lined up, my motivation changed. Once I realized what was happening, I'd just go ahead and quit. I felt that if I wasn't giving the man 100%, I shouldn't be taking his money.
Now do I believe, IF Steele was considering another job, this happened? Certainly.
Do I believe that's the sole reason the team looked so unprepared? Certainly not.
Disasters like Friday night (and in football terms, this was a disaster) are generally the product of another phenomenon called the "cascade affect".
That's the theory that NOT one single event caused the disaster but many did.
Was the team hungover after losing the SEC championship game?
Was there too much time off?
Were they underwhelmed by their bowl situation?
Were you? How many of us were disappointed with our team's bowl game? How many wished it were Ohio State or Texas or some other "name team"?? You think those players and coaches are aliens? Of course not! They're humans too.
Did Andre Smith's situation create a distraction??
Did Nick Saban's commentary provide an already out-to-prove-something Utah team added motivation?
I think that's obvious.
I think it's also obvious that not one but all these things combined to create the "perfect storm" Alabama walked into Friday night.
And it's a storm that sometimes an established program can't weather.
And it must be remembered that this was the SECOND year of Nick Saban's "process".
Do we have the depth and stability of other programs that aspire to national prominence?
I think that's obvious too.
Hit the recruiting trail with a little extra motivation.
(if that's possible)