The 2015 Sugar Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes consists of many NFL Draft prospects. Check out this list of the top 10 prospects in this game.
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is known for finding himself in the spotlight. The relatively young coach has had coaching positions across the country, but he can never seem to stick at one place. Kiffin doesn’t have the best reputation amongst his profession, but that hasn’t stopped teams from wanting him.
Recently, Kiffin made a comment that would make any football fan shake their head. He said that he believes the Crimson Tide have three of the best running backs in all of football. Yes, he even included the NFL. Come on Lane; we all know the Tide have a great stable of running backs, but to consider them all NFL caliber is just absurd.
The Tide’s trio of backs—T.J Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake—were the three players that Kiffin was referring to. They are three of the most talented backs in college football, but they are not quite ready to be considered the NFL’s best.
Yeldon, who finished with 1,235 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing last season, will look to hold off a surging Henry. Yeldon has had issues holding on to the football and is in danger of losing his starting spot to Henry. In the Tide’s loss to the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2014 Sugar Bowl, Henry showed a glimpse of the type of running back everyone expected him to be.
Look, there’s nothing wrong with Kiffin praising his players, but he should hold off on the NFL comments. Yeldon and Henry will likely find their way onto NFL rosters in the future, but for now, they still need to prove that they can do it done in college. There’s a huge difference between excelling at the college level and the NFL.
I don’t doubt that the Tide’s trio is exceptionally talented, but Kiffin needs to let his backs do the talking on the field. Just when I thought Kiffin was staying out of the spotlight he comes out and says something crazy. Welcome back, Lane Kiffin.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are the top team in the nation right now — although highly disputed because of the Oregon Ducks‘ surge — and it’s hard to think otherwise seeing as they have won two straight national titles and have a 6-0 record through seven weeks in 2013. With a favorable schedule remaining, the Crimson Tide will have one or two tough tests left in their way of an unbeaten season.
On the other side of the field, the Arkansas Razorbacks are the epitome of a struggling team. They have lost four straight games after starting the season 3-0 behind the new head coach Bret Bielema. The Razorbacks are searching for answers and a way to stop the bleeding, but this is the wrong week for that.
Alabama is led by a Heisman contending quarterback and one of the best leaders in the nation. AJ McCarron is one of the top quarterbacks out there and the guy has led the Crimson Tide to two straight national titles. He has been solid this season for an offense that just hasn’t been quite the same since losing Eddie Lacy, passing for 1,407 yards and 11 touchdowns with just three interceptions while completing over 68 percent of his passes. He hasn’t had a clear-cut favorite receiver this season as Amari Cooper is having a bit of a sophomore slump. T.J. Yeldon leads the run game with 569 yards and six touchdowns.
Arkansas has been seen a bit of a quarterback competition between Brandon Allen and AJ Derby, but the team looks like it will likely go with Allen. However, they could lean the other way as Allen has struggled tremendously this season, completing just 48 percent of his passes for 864 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions. Good thing for the Razorbacks: they have one of the top run offenses in the nation. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are big reasons for that success with a combined 1,284 yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively, the Razorbacks have allowed 27.6 points per game while allowing 367.7 yards per game — ranking 72nd and 44th in the nation, respectively. Alabama ranks second in he country in points allowed per game while ranking eighth in the nation in yards allowed per game.
Arkansas will travel to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide at 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 19. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Arkansas 10, Alabama 42