NCAA Football Preseason Rankings: #2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Are the dog days of summer making you more and more ready for some college football? College football action is only about six weeks away. It appears the race for the BCS National Championship is wide open in 2011. I’m counting down my top five teams in the nation. I’m now up to my #2 ranked team-Alabama.
Alabama Crimson Tide 2011-2012 College Football Preview and Predictions
Coach: Nick Saban
2010 Record: 10-3 (Beat Michigan State in Capital One Bowl)
Alabama Odds from 5Dimes
Alabama to win the BCS Championship: +725
Alabama to win SEC West: -120
Alabama to win SEC Conference Championship Game: +205
The Crimson Tide were a bit of a disappointment last season. Alabama blew a huge lead and lost 28-27 to their rival Auburn. Auburn would go on to win the BCS Championship Game. Nick Saban’s team is loaded with talent once again. Can Alabama get back to the top?
Alabama’s defense was supposed to be a weakness last year, but they went out and only allowed more than 20 points in three games. Dont’a Hightower is one of the best linebackers in the nation, and he leads a very athletic and strong seven on defense. The secondary has a great leader in Mark Barron at the safety position. It’s difficult to find any weakness on this Alabama defense.
The Crimson Tide should be able to run the ball on just about everyone this year. Trent Richardson is an absolute beast in the backfield, and I fully expect Saban to give him the ball a lot this year. Alabama’s offensive line is stacked with veterans who know how to open up holes. Alabama will line up and run it down the opposition’s throat this season.
There is one glaring weakness for Alabama heading into the 2011 season and that is at the quarterback position. A.J. McCarron and Phillip Sims are battling it out to see who will be the starter this year. Both are inexperienced and Saban and his stuff have to be worried that their quarterback might get rattled at a crucial point sometime this year.
Alabama 2011 Football Schedule:
The Crimson Tide have a relatively easy non-conference schedule. The trip to Happy Valley to play Penn State could be a tricky one, but home dates against North Texas, Kent State, and Georgia Southern will be a breeze. Inside the SEC, trips to Florida and Auburn headline the dangerous games the Crimson Tide will have. Don’t overlook the November 12 game at Mississippi State, which could be a letdown game for Alabama after playing LSU the week before.
2011-2012 Alabama Football Predictions: 12-2 (Winner of SEC Championship Game)
The Crimson Tide probably have more talent than any team in the country overall, but the huge question mark at quarterback will probably hurt them at some point this year. The SEC schedule is extremely tough, and I think they’ll lose a couple close ones. By the end of the year I expect Alabama to playing as well as anyone in the country. Trent Richardson could make a serious run at the Heisman Trophy.