Let's just come right out and say that we aren't normally quick to give Alabama the benefit of the doubt, or sympathize with Nick Saban for that matter.
However, Saturday's Iron Bowl tilt against Auburn, a game that ultimately saw the Crimson Tide fall 48-45, oozed abnormal variables, and Tuscaloosa supporters are absolutely justified in pointing in the direction of the blokes dressed in black and white.
Essentially, it all came down to one egregious call on the cusp of halftime when the zebras inexplicably awarded Auburn one second on the clock, a tick that they used to bury a 52-yard (!) field goal.
Nick Saban subsequently erupted on the sidelines, and rightfully so because the Tigers' ball-carrier was clearly down by contact as the clock showed zeros.
Sure, you can come out and say that Bama kicker Joseph Bulovas should have drilled his 30-yard, potential game-tying field goal attempt with two minutes remaining in the game, but that SHOULD have been a go-ahead FG try.
Then came Auburn's controversial (but brilliant) punting formation that forced a 12-man penalty on the Crimson Tide. The Tigers lined up their punter at wide receiver, and Saban adamantly believes that the refs should have permitted him and his coaching staff more time to adjust.
Yes, Alabama committed costly penalties, and yes Saban's defense couldn't stop a nosebleed, but it's not outlandish to say that this game was deprived of an appropriate ending.
Given how close it was at the end, those three points proved to be the dagger that sealed the Crimson Tide's likely Playoff absence.