Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Can't Lose Focus Before SEC Championship Game

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 03:  Coach Nick Saban of Alabama watches from the sidelines as his team plays LSU at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Complacency is Alabama's worst enemy right now.

Falling asleep at the wheel versus a Western Carolina or an Auburn in the final two games of the season is unlikely at best, but that doesn't mean the Crimson Tide can just go through the motions.

They must throttle these teams, but they must also maintain their readiness to face Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Without a win in that one, nothing really matters anyway.

It can be difficult for a team to regain its focus after playing easy opponents for a few weeks straight. Georgia will be the team's first real challenge since losing to Texas A&M at home, so who says they've even found their focus again?

A win on Saturday doesn't, and Western Carolina didn't count either.

If Alabama beats Georgia, it's inconceivable to think that it won't be in the BCS National Championship game. Barring a minor miracle, it's the only way that things could go down.

But don't sleep on the Bulldogs. With Aaron Murray's experience behind center and two dynamic freshman running the ball, Mark Richt's team will test the Tide in a lot of ways.

Alabama isn't infallible like it was last year, and it's shown that. Nick Saban is all about discipline and focus, but he can't go on the field and play the game himself. He has to hope that his players keep their sights set on the ultimate goal.

Perhaps I'm overlooking Auburn here. The Tigers are Alabama's biggest rival, but Gene Chizik's crew can't do anything right this year, winning just three games. Even though it's a rivalry, it's hard to see Saturday's game being close.

It's fine to look ahead, but the Crimson Tide have to keep their goals in mind without getting lazy. It's easy to look ahead to a possible matchup with Notre Dame, but every step counts along the way.

If they don't take it that way, the Bulldogs will spoil the party before it starts.