TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Unlike last year, I’m not picking defending national champion Alabama to lose its season opener. Louisville won’t stun the top-ranked Crimson Tide in Orlando, but someone will take them down in the regular season.
The question is who?
I have the answer.
Louisville – Sept. 1
The buzz: Alabama hasn’t picked a starting quarterback – or at least Nick Saban hasn’t told the public whether Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa will take the first snap.
“If I’m ready to tell you, I’ll tell you,” Saban said Monday. “If I’m not, I won’t.”
Regardless of who starts or plays more at quarterback, Alabama will handle the Cardinals.
Prediction: Alabama wins 31-14
Arkansas State – Sept. 8
The buzz: Alabama will make all the adjustments from the opener, which won’t be a good thing for Arkansas State.
Prediction: Alabama wins 42-17
Sept 15 – at Mississippi
The buzz: By this game, Saban will have picked a permanent starter at quarterback. It’ll be a hostile environment early, A.J. Brown will make some plays, but Alabama will have its way with the Rebels.
Prediction: Alabama wins 38-10
Sept. 22 – Texas A&M
The buzz: The last time Jimbo Fisher lined up across the sidelines from Nick Saban, his Florida State offense was no match for the Tide defense. Now he’s looking to revitalize Texas A&M. The Aggies will have a splash win this season, but it’s not happening here.
Prediction: Alabama wins 31-17
Sept. 29 – Louisiana-Lafayette
The buzz: No disrespect to the Ragin’ Cajuns, but this one will get ugly.
Prediction: Alabama wins 45-7
Oct. 6 – at Arkansas
The buzz: First-year coach Chad Morris will have his first SEC crack at Saban. The Razorbacks should be improved, but not nearly enough to hang with Alabama.
Prediction: Alabama wins 30-7
Oct. 13 – Missouri
The buzz: This will be an entertaining game – for a half. Looking forward to seeing Drew Lock go at the Alabama defense, which is replacing its entire secondary. He’ll moves the chains, put up points, but by this point in the season, the Tide secondary should be seasoned and giving up few, if any, big plays.
Prediction: Alabama wins 38-24
Oct. 20 – Tennessee
The buzz: The Volunteers have called up on a Saban disciple – Jeremy Pruitt – to not only win the SEC East, but ultimately take the down the Tide. Having center Brandon Kennedy transfer from Alabama to UT gives the matchup even more flavor. Playing at home, I like Tennessee’s chances, but the Vols simply don’t have enough talent compete with Alabama for 60 minutes.
Prediction: Alabama wins 27-17
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