A team that’s supposedly the best in the nation shouldn’t think its chances at a national championship could be dashed by the loss of one player.

I’m looking at you, Alabama.

It’s up for serious debate whether the Crimson Tide should even be the No. 1 team in the nation at this point. I’m on the “No, absolutely not” side of the debate.

There’s absolutely no question LSU has been tested much harder than the Tide. The Bengal Tigers have played and beaten two teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 — and they beat Florida pretty easily, for that matter. Alabama, meanwhile, has played only one team that even received a vote in the latest poll, and that’s Texas A&M, Alabama’s hardest-fought victory to date.

Alabama is — and you can’t tell me otherwise — hanging on based on what it’s done in years prior. What’s that phrase? “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” The AP voters need to think about that.

Sure, Alabama is a good team. But the Crimson Tide of the past is no longer here. Their defense isn’t nearly as solid as it used to be and they just don’t seem to be rolling over teams like they used to.

Meanwhile, LSU has given up two touchdowns or less in four of its seven victories and more importantly, the Tigers can score at will. They’ve scored thirty-six points in every single game. They’re averaging almost 50 points per game. That’s insane; that’s unheard of.

The debate is pretty simple in my book. LSU should be ranked No. 1 until Alabama proves otherwise, which it has a chance to do in two weeks.

But I’m getting sidetracked. The point of this column isn’t whether or not the Crimson Tide is overrated (they are) or what they AP voters are thinking (because I’m not one). The point of this column is if Tua Tagovailoa is out for the LSU game in two weeks, I don’t want to hear for one second that’s the reason Alabama tanks against the Tigers.

If a team is supposed to be a powerhouse, always one of the best in the nation, dominating through and through, it shouldn’t be that reliant on one person. I understand most quarterbacks aren’t like Tagovailoa; he could easily be the Heisman winner this year and he’s breaking Alabama school records left and right, but he can’t be the only reason Alabama is the best.

A team like the Crimson Tide — with how much money the school is bringing in and how many resources the football team has — shouldn’t need one player to succeed.

I wrote a column last year about how you shouldn’t blame one player for a loss. A missed field goal at the end doesn’t mean the defeat is on the kicker and an interception at a bad time doesn’t mean the quarterback should be blamed if the game goes south.

In that same right, you can’t give all your success to one player.

Think about it like this. The New England Patriots are clearly the most dominating team in the NFL right now. Their defense is insane (and singlehandedly saving my fantasy football team) but if one player from that defense goes down, does that mean the entire unit sinks? If so, it wasn’t that good to begin with.

Every team deals with injuries and sometimes those injuries hit the star players. A good team relies on its star players but a great team has the next man up who can take his spot and not miss a beat.

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.