Sometimes it’s not the loss, but how it happens that raises eyebrows.

And one person in the know is making his opinion heard.

Now a legendary sports announcer is speaking some hard truths about this struggling college football team.

The Alabama Crimson Tide just suffered the first loss to Tennessee of the Nick Saban era.

Now they are trying to bounce back.

Alabama’s unexpected loss in week 7 ended a 15-game winning streak against Tennessee.

It was an especially sloppy game, where Alabama committed 17 penalties for 130 yards, with seven of those occurring just in the first quarter.

On Tuesday’s edition of “First Take” Paul Finebaum said, “I saw a lot of troubling signs, Stephen A. Smith, and what I saw the most are a bad trajectory for Alabama. They’re going the wrong direction. I mentioned it earlier about the penalties. This is an undisciplined team, Stephen A. And if I can say this to you without you going apoplectic, this is not a well-coached team. I know who the coach is. He’s Nick Saban, but this is the third time this year he’s been out-maneuvered and out-coached by the other guy. Alabama could easily, easily have lost three games.”

The Crimson Tide had previously gotten 10 penalties for 101 yards against Arkansas and 15 penalties for 100 yards against Texas, so this is hardly the first game that showcased a lack of discipline.

Before Saturday, Alabama had been undefeated despite serious scares from Texas and Texas A&M.

Referencing mishaps in these games, Finebaum continued, “It took a last-second field goal against Texas. It took a stop against A&M. And we saw what happened Saturday. This is the wrong way and this team is missing on all cylinders. The offensive line is weak. The defensive secondary, where Nick Saban coaches Stephen A., got burned repeatedly in that game. You saw that. I don’t know where it’s going. It’s not over. They still have a path. They still have Nick Saban. But you tell me: How does he come out of this right now?”

Alabama’s defense had a tough time against Tennessee’s up-tempo offense, allowing 567 yards and seven touchdowns on the day.

The Crimson Tide bounced back against No. 24 Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa for Week 8 of the college football season after Mississippi State struggled with the sudden loss of a teammate during the week.

But the way things have been going, this could be a long year for Saban and the Crimson Tide.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.