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Alabama ‘hopeful’ for SEC, national title chances despite Texas loss

Nick Saban smiles while walking the field of Bryant-Denny Stadium
Photo comes via SEC Media Portal

A new week is in for college football after Alabama’s loss to Texas at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

It dropped to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press Poll, but players and coaches for the Crimson Tide remain hopeful for a Southeastern Conference Championship and a College Football Playoff National Championship opportunity. Alabama suffered a defeat early in the season under Nick Saban for the first time since 2015 against Ole Miss. The 2015 team turned things around quickly, running the table to a national championship. We are about to see what kind of heart and pride this team has.

RELATED: Alabama sees its chances for a CFP national title drop, per ESPN’s Football Power Index

On Monday, Coach Saban told reporters ‘the future is now.’ The focus for Alabama is getting this season turned around.

“We have to do a better job as coaches to help them play more consistently,” Saban said. “We have to put them in a position to have the best chance to be successful, but I think these things are fixable. I believe in our players. I think we have good players. I think Texas has a good team, and it is like I said before … it was a test, an early test in the semester, and we did not grade very well on the test. So, what are we going to do to get a better grade? That is what we have to learn and grow from.”

Saban said he ‘would be shocked’ if the players do not respond the right way after a loss.

“I think our players, with the kind of character and attitude that we’ve shown as a team, I think they will respond the right way,” he said. ” I think the coaches will do the same.”

RELATED: George Teague disappointed with Alabama’s lack of pride versus Texas

Tyler Booker and Dallas Turner spoke to the media after Saban. Both are team leaders who carry hope for the program having every goal in front of it, despite a tough loss. Booker, a sophomore right guard, said the team is ‘pissed off’ after the loss.

“I’m not going to lie, we are pissed off,” Booker said. “Who wants to lose at home? But, there are only two undefeated teams to win a national championship here at the University of Alabama. All of our goals are still obtainable. We can still win the SEC West, we can still win the SEC, and get a College Football Playoff spot. This was a wake-up call for us, and we are taking heed of what Coach (Saban) is saying, understanding that to play to the Alabama standard we have to execute.”

Turner, a junior outside linebacker, shared Booker’s mindset.

He knows the season is young and Alabama can make up ground, but there is no room for error.

The Tide faces South Florida this weekend.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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