Can Alabama start any worse?

PASADENA, Calif. – I can’t think of a more dysfunctional start to a game this season for Alabama than what we saw Thursday night in the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

But it didn’t turn out nearly as bad as it could have for the Crimson Tide.

Texas went up 6-0 after an inexplicable fake field goal on third-and-23 went awry for Alabama and then the Crimson Tide failed to get on a bloop kick a few minutes later.

The Longhorns took over at the 37 and then the 30, but Alabama kept them out of the end zone both times.

Still, Alabama looks jittery.

Linebacker Rolando McClain was hit with a personal foul penalty, and there was also confusion with getting everybody off the field before Texas’ second field goal. Finally, Marcell Dareus came racing off at the last minute, and Alabama coach Nick Saban came over and barked at defensive line coach Bo Davis.

Offensively, Alabama hasn't been able to protect quarterback Greg McElroy, who's been chased out of the pocket a couple of different times.