The Annual Alabama Prediction

I actually had this in my draft folder and forgot to hit publish before the game last night. I haven’t changed anything on my predictions. I do think that the offensive line troubles for ‘Bama are real and if they are fixed soon – LSU is going to make life miserable for the Tide.

The good news for Alabama is that they got a fairly easy schedule this year. Virginia Tech isn’t a cupcake but they are down from their normal high perch. There is A&M and the always formidable LSU but no South Carolina, Georgia, or Florida. Saban was the only SEC coach to vote for an additional SEC game instead of the cupcake that they all schedule. I expect that to change next year with the new format for the national championship.

The bad news for the Tide is simple – they lost 10 players to NFL, 3 of those from the offensive line. That’s a huge loss for a team whose dominance over the last few years is predicated on them being able to run the ball. Not just run the ball, but run it down anyone’s throat, anytime they wanted to. So to say that this year will be an adjustment – I think is an understatement.

Team Schedule

Aug 31 @ Virgina Tech W
Bama wins going away in second half. Won’t be pretty game.
UPDATE: okay…so they won big with special teams and defense. And the offensive line looks a bit worse than I thought.

Sep 14 @ Texas A&M W
Manziel is great between the lines, it’s between the ears that A&M fans should be nervous about. And their defense. I think A&M will have plenty of offensive weapons this year to put up points but I’m not sold on their defense. So I’m picking ‘Bama.

Sep 21 vs. Colorado State University W
Really don’t know why they are coming to town. Oh yeah, I do. $

Sep 28 vs. Mississippi (Ole Miss) W
They are better than they’ve been in a long time – and they are still going to get beat.

Oct 5 vs. Georgia State University W
See Colorado State above.

Oct 12 @ Kentucky W
Stoops has a long way to go in bringing this program back to any sense of relevance. I’m not really sure why he even took the job.

Oct 19 vs. Arkansas W
The always pesky Razorbacks. Well, except for last year. They will be tough and I’m guessing Bielema is going to be bringing “big boy” football back to Fayetteville so look for a lot of running.

Oct 26 vs. Tennessee W
I remember when this game was intense and mattered.

Nov 9 vs. LSU W
This is the game that ‘Bama can lose. Very easily. These two teams have a habit of showing up in the other’s backyard and stealing a game from them. We’ve done it to them, they’ve done it to us. LSU’s defense will be the best ‘Bama sees all year and at this stage in the year, they may have figured out their QB situation. I’m calling Bama because…well…because I hate LSU.

Nov 16 @ Mississippi State W
I remember when Mullins got the job at Miss State and hope was high. How many more 6 and 7 win seasons can he handle at Mississippi State?

Nov 23 vs. Chattanooga W
These are the games that big schools get (and deserve) so much grief over – a late season cupcake. It’s the reason Saban wanted to add another SEC game which was resoundingly defeated 13-1. But this will have to change in future years if the SEC wants to stay in the top 4 for the playoffs.

Nov 30 @ Auburn W
Hope and happiness is returning the Plains with their new coach and new “philosophy” with Malzohn. But one year isn’t enough to completely turn it around.

SEC Championship Game – vs. South Carolina
The debate is this – do I pick South Carolina who is known to start hot and fast, but has a tendency to fade. OR do I pick Georgia who starts slow but then finishes hot?

I’m picking the Gamecocks. If Georgia starts slow this year – it’s going to cost them dearly. They open with Clemson then get South Carolina after that. So a slow start for them means 0-2. I know South Carolina has a way of faltering late in the season AND they play Arkansas which could be tough. So maybe I should pick Georgia.

I’ll stick with the Gamecocks, even though it won’t surprise me if Georgia gets there either. I think Georgia can beat ‘Bama – as evidenced last year in the championship game. So if Georgia goes – I’ll reconsider. But if the Gamecocks are there – I think it’s a Bama win.

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