Tom Hart was on the call for the SEC Network as Alabama lost yet another head-scratching SEC road game.

This time, the Crimson Tide went into Athens and lost to a Georgia team that entered the game with an overall record of 5-14 and an SEC record of 0-6. The Bulldogs won 82-76.

What’s up with Nate Oats’ team? Hart joined “McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning” on WJOX on Wednesday and explained that the Tide simply play to the level of their competition, for better or for worse:

“The big picture is Nate Oats has a team that plays to its level of competition,” Hart said. “I know that’s the common theme, but it’s true and it has stuck with them. Even in wins, earlier this season, they had a 5-point win over South Alabama, they should have won that one by more. Slow starts in the first half against Iona in that loss. Then they come out against Gonzaga and score 91. They had that huge finishing sequence against Houston. They only beat Jacksonville State by 6. …

“It’s a scenario of effort, certainly of focus. It’s easy in college basketball when the No. 1 team comes to your town or you take a trip to Gonzaga — take a look at what Missouri did last night — it’s easy to get up for big games. It’s not necessarily easy to hang with teams that are more talented than you, but when you’re at home, you get up for a big game, you’ve got the focus — that’s the beauty of college basketball. … Alabama has found it really hard to get up for lesser teams, lesser venues, lesser crowds. … They just didn’t have the defensive effort to stay in front of Georgia and Georgia won that game at the free-throw line.”

As Hart mentioned, the Tide have beaten Gonzaga and Houston — 2 of last year’s Final Four teams — already this year. On Saturday, they’ll host reigning champion Baylor. Could we see another outstanding effort?