A look at the Alabama Crimson Tide 2014 Schedule

It is finally here! With the season about to be underway, we have to determine who is going to be the best. This article is going to strictly cover the Alabama Crimson Tide. In my opinion, the SEC is the best football conference and with that comes the best teams. Therefore, it is going to be a brutal battle for first place. To analyze these teams and choose the winner you must look at the teams from numerous different views. So what things are you looking for when determining the best? Well first you have to see the roster (this includes coaches), who is coming back and who graduated or went to the NFL. After you have analyzed all of this you must look at the recruiting. Chances are, if you have a good recruiting class, you are going to have some of the best players of that generation. The last thing that you need you need to look at is the strength of schedule. This will also dictate the chances of Alabama being the best team.

A look at the Alabama Crimson Tide 2014 Schedule

The best team in everybody’s mind is no doubt Alabama because of their total dominance over the past five years. However, Alabama is not going to have A.J. McCarron anymore, and with the way they finished the year in 2013, losing to Auburn and Oklahoma in the final two games, it will be tough for Alabama to be as good as last year.

Now let’s focus on 2014. The season kicks off against West Virginia at home. This game isn’t a gimme for the Tide. In other words, this could get a little testy. Don’t get too cocky, ‘Bama fans. Now, do I honestly think a struggling West Virginia football program can go in and take down one of the greatest football programs of all time and arguably the greatest football coach of the century in Nick Saban? In a word, no. I don’t expect West Virginia to win, but I do expect them to keep it within 20 points. The crowd will be behind Alabama the entire way, which will in the end dictate the winner. Now with the Tide sitting at 1-0 we move on past the easier teams (Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss) to the Florida Gators. Florida is coming off a terrible 4-8 season and no one seems to have the Gators on their radar. However, this would a perfect situation for an upset. Florida could head into Tuscaloosa and shock the College Football world…now do I think it’s possible? Anything is possible, but this seems too good to be true. Alabama will escape the Gators. So sitting at 4-0, Alabama is cruising to another 10 win season- but now the season starts getting hard. With road games against Ole Miss and Arkansas in consecutive weeks I honestly do look for an upset in there. The Tide have struggled recently against the Rebels in Oxford, and I know people are going to be shocked when seeing this, but it’s my gut feeling: Ole Miss will upset Alabama 24-20. The first half of the season ends when Alabama heads into Arkansas. Because of the way Arkansas has played over the last few years, I don’t expect them to beat Alabama. The first half of the season ends at 5-1.

Alabama has much tougher second half of the season that includes Texas A&M coming back to Tuscaloosa. Yes the team that beat them in Tuscaloosa and almost ruined their 2013 national championship hopes is back. However, Texas A&M is going to be missing one key person, and that of course is Johnny Manziel. This game will be a back and forth game but in the end I honestly expect Texas A&M to beat Alabama for two reasons-roster and recruiting. A&M is coming off a rock-solid recruiting class, and the offense is looking to be just as good as when Johnny Football was there. The game will be a nail biter, but in the end A&M wins 31-25. With the Tide sitting at 5-2 heading into Knoxville and then Baton Rouge, they’re in for two more tough games. Tennessee did just knock off a good South Carolina team last year, so it’s not an easy win. However, I expect Alabama to win because of Nick Saban outsmarting the Vols. It won’t be a pretty game and I expect it to be a low scoring game, 17-6. So now 6-2 the Tide head to LSU where they will win. The main reason I expect LSU to lose is the loss of Zach Mettenberger. The Tigers have no replacement for Mettenberger, or at least they didn’t last year. Alabama is now 7-2, with no more road games on the schedule. The final and possibly biggest test for Alabama is Auburn. This will be a revenge game for Alabama, but the revenge will have to wait another season because I truly expect Auburn to win the matchup again this year. That leaves the Tide with a 9-3 finish. This isn’t what people expect of the Tide, but Alabama began the downfall last year against Auburn and I think it will be a difficult season for Alabama fans. Alabama will finish the regular season with a berth in the Capitol One Bowl, Cotton Bowl, or Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

 

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