Alabama is going to be good again this year, that’s a given these days. The Crimson Tide have a quarterback battle, lost their top wide out and only return two defensive starters, but none of that should matter in the end and that’s seen in the odds. After their spring Game, Alabama was still a ridiculous -240 at 5Dimes Sportsbook to make the College Football Playoff and +200 to win it all.
The offense struggled mightily in the spring Game (14-12) and that was mostly due to Jalen Hurts looking like a freshman. Tua Tagovailoa missed the Game with a hand injury, but all reports have him the likely starter going into the season and that’s exactly what the odds say (+1000 to win Heisman). Tagovailoa started the National Championship Game and is a better passer than Hurts with the same kind of elusiveness in the pocket, making him the logical pick. With Four starters back on the line and top running back Damien Harris (1,000 yards, 11 TDs, 7.4 ypc) returning, this offense will dominate plenty of defenses. Najee Harris and Josh Jacobs should spell Harris, while the receiving Game has Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith in bigger roles with Calvin Ridley gone. Even if Hurts wins the starting gig, the offense will be dominant after scoring 37 points per Game in 2017.
Some teams would be in rebuild mode after losing most of its defense, including multiple NFL talents, but it may not matter in the end for Alabama. That was seen in the spring scrimmage when the defensive front controlled most of the Game against a good line. While the secondary lacks experience, the front group is loaded with Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs the names to know. LABryan Ray and Anfernee Jennings are also in the mix to have huge seasons at outside linebacker. The secondary lost a lot of pieces, but it also has a ton of talent coming in with five-star recruits and safety Deionte Thompson, who saw time last season.
There’s not much to say about Alabama other than it’s going to be loaded again. The defensive front should once again destroy opposing offensive lines and that will do enough to get the secondary reps early in the season. While quarterback is still a question, both guys are plenty talented to lead the group with an experienced offensive line and top running back.
Alabama’s opener against Louisville would’ve been huge the last two years, but LAmar Jackson is gone and the Cardinals won’t be the same without him. The Schedule points to another possibly undefeated season as the Tide don’t have the most difficult road Games. OUtside of the trip to LSU, they go to Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee. Auburn will be a big test in the season finale, but it’s at home this time around and Nick Saban will want revenge. The Tide have a couple new coordinators in Mike Locksley (offense) and Tosh LUpoi (defense), but both were with the team last year and not much is expected to change. With the Iron Bowl being played at home, it’d be a surprise if this team didn’t win the SEC West at a mininum.
2018 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Schedule
Sept. 1 vs. Louisville (Camping World Stadium, Orlando)
Sept. 8 vs. Arkansas State
Sept. 15 at Ole Miss
Sept. 22 vs. Texas A&M
Sept. 29 vs. Louisiana
Oct. 6 at Arkansas
Oct. 13 vs. Missouri
Oct. 20 at Tennessee
Nov. 3 at LSU
Nov. 10 vs. Mississippi State
Nov. 17 vs. The Citadel
Nov. 24 vs. Auburn