Biggest prizes slipped away in Alabama’s wonderful season

Said it before. Time to say it again.
The ball’s dropped on a New Year, but one thing hasn’t changed.
Alabama is not back.
Not all the way.
Not yet.
Not after Utah 31, Alabama 17.
Alabama is not back when its first trip to the Sugar Bowl in 16 years fails to become its first victory here in 16 years.
Alabama is not back when it follows a 12-0 regular season with an 0-2 postseason – and both of those defeats are by double digits.