This year, head coach Nick Saban’s squad will play just two teams ranked in the preseason top 25, Texas A&M and LSU, but other teams on their schedule could be ranked when it comes time to play them. Let’s break it down game by game, shall we?
Saturday, August 31 – Virginia Tech
While neither team is at home for this contest – the game is being played in Atlanta – Alabama could certainly have the crowd advantage since it’s a shorter drive for ‘Bama fans. The Hokies had a sub-par season last year and are expected to bounce back this coming year. Still, ‘Bama seems to be the overwhelming favorite in this one.
Saturday, September 14 – @ Texas A&M
In 2012, the Aggies were the Crimson Tide’s only blemish on their record when they upset Alabama at home, 29-24. This year, Alabama gets a chance at redemption when they head to Texas for a rematch. Last year’s contest was a real treat to watch. Should Johnny Manziel be allowed to take the field, this year’s matchup won’t disappoint. The Crimson Tide could be in for an early season loss.
Saturday, September 21 – Colorado St.
After a grueling test at Texas A&M, Alabama then returns home to play Colorado State. This will be great to work out any kinks that came up during the A&M game. Alabama will run away with this one.
Saturday, September 28 – Ole Miss
Last season, the Crimson Tide defeated Ole Miss 33-14. The Rebels return this year much better off than last year. It’s possible that Alabama could get surprised at home. Keep an eye on this matchup.
Saturday, October 5 – Georgia St.
‘Bama get’s another softball in Georgia State. They’ll win big in this one.
Saturday, October 12 – @ Kentucky
The Crimson Tide and the Wildcats haven’t squared off since Alabama won 38-20 back in 2009. Kentucky is still in a bit of a rebuilding mode and has some work left before they can compete with the best in the SEC.
Saturday, October 19 – Arkansas
Last season, Alabama won ugly in Arkansas 52-0. Don’t expect anything much prettier this year. Arkansas got a new head coach, Bret Bielema, and he is in for rude awakening when his Razorbacks take on Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Saturday, October 26 – Tennessee
Last season, Alabama rolled into Knoxville and rolled over the Volunteers 44-13. This year’s Tennessee team isn’t expected to be better than last year’s, which is bad if you’re a fan of the Vols. Alabama wins this one big at home.
Saturday, November 9 – LSU
Finally, Alabama gets a tough test. Once they get past the Aggies in week two, they’re talented enough to cruise to their matchup with Tigers. In 2012, Alabama needed a late game scoring drive to pull of the win down in Louisiana. This year, we could see the same drama. Quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Zach Mettenberger will be dueling.
Saturday, November 16 – @ Mississippi St.
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start last season before faltering late in the season. This year, they return a good team and could give the Crimson Tide a run for their money. This could be a late season trap and possible upset pick if ‘Bama isn’t careful.
Saturday, November 23 – Chattanooga
Alabama get’s a softball tossed to them before the annual Iron Bowl matchup. Chattanooga doesn’t stand a chance.
Saturday, November 30 – @ Auburn
It’s the annual Iron Bowl. In 2012, Alabama won this one handily 49-0. While I do believe Auburn will be better than last year, they still won’t matchup well with the Crimson Tide, and Alabama will win this one easily.
All things considered, the defending champs have a fairly easy road to travel to get back to the big game. Twice, they’ll have a three-game homestand. Expect the Crimson Tide to be scoring a lot of points this fall as they go up against far inferior opponents in and out of the SEC.