Which Games Could Cause Alabama Crimson Tide Trouble in 2013?

John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS

To say things have gone well for the Alabama Crimson Tide over the past two seasons would be quite an understatement. Nick Saban and his team have combined to go 25-2 during the last two years, while winning a pair of BCS National Championships.

Alabama returns a solid core of players for the 2013 season, including two-time national champion quarterback A.J. McCarron, running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper. Alabama will probably be at the top of the national preseason rankings this fall, and it appears that a third straight title is squarely within the sights of Saban and his squad.

But sometimes, things that seem to be foregone conclusions don’t work out that way. So, if Alabama were to stumble in 2013, where might that happen?

Alabama opens the season against the Virginia Tech Hokies in Atlanta on August 31. This is not a vintage Virginia Tech team, so the Tide should not have any problem there.

After a week off, the biggest challenge of the season faces Alabama, as they travel to College Station to face Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies. Last season, it was A&M that handed Alabama its only loss of the season.

If Alabama can survive that game, the schedule the rest of the way is very favorable. Seven of the final 10 games of the year are at home, and the road games are not that difficult.

In fact, Alabama could go the entire month of October without being seriously challenged. But a November 9 game against the LSU Tigers in Tuscaloosa will be a tough one. And that’s followed by a road game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Alabama finishes its regular season on the road against its arch rival, the Auburn Tigers, on November 30.

The biggest roadblock for Alabama might be a game that’s not currently on the schedule – the SEC Championship Game. In that contest, the Tide will likely face the Florida Gators, the Georgia Bulldogs or the South Carolina Gamecocks. All of those teams should be in, or near, the Top 10 all season long.

Things appear to be lining up well for Alabama to bring home a third straight title, and the schedule appears to have them headed in that direction.

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