For what seems like forever, the Alabama Crimson Tide have been at the top of every football enthusiasts’ college football rankings. They may not have won the championship in 2016, but let’s be realistic. Since Nick Saban took over (2007), the Crimon Tide have made it to the big dance (National Championship) five times and won the trophy four of those times.
Alabama has set themselves up nicely, with a top recruiting class (number one in the nation according to ESPN) and an extremely deep bench. You may not like every decision these coaches make, but you can’t seem to argue with success. This year, the team has six returning offensive starters, five on defense, and one on special teams. This leaves them with some holes to fill, but with such a deep bench already, it’s pretty safe to say that Saban won’t have a problem filling those holes with guys who would have likely started last year, had they opted to go to a smaller school.
Their schedule this year is really a mystery. After the season opener, it starts off slow with games against Fresno State, Colorado State, and Vanderbilt; that is after what could be the biggest game of the year. Alabama will take on Florida State in what is arguably going to be the best match up of the year. Alabama fans have been dying for this match up since the 2013 SEC Championship, when Bama attempted a 57 yard field goal that was run back by Auburn to win the game with one second left on the clock. Auburn would go on to defeat the Missouri Tigers 59-42 in the SEC Championship and play in the BCS National Championship against Florida State. Florida State ultimately won the National Championship 34-31.
As a Florida State fan and alumni, I cannot count the number of times, after that game, that I heard an Alabama fan say “You wouldn’t have won if you had played us”. To which I kindly replied “We would have played you, if you could have beaten Auburn”. Let’s be honest, this is why we all watch and love college football, for the edge of your seat, nail biting, hold your breath, jump out of your chair, scream your head off moments. And well, it looks like Alabama and Florida State fans are finally getting what they were looking for. The players are now different, but the coaches and the pride are still the same.
Does Alabama have what it takes to have another undefeated regular season? Are they set to go all the way to the national championship again this year? Only time will tell. Later in the season they are still set to face off against teams like LSU, Auburn, and Tennessee. I think its safe to say, they have all the components in the right places. If they fire off on all cylinders, it’s hard to imagine many teams standing in their way. I think game one of their season is going to be a great indicator of the season to follow.