Bama still the best in SEC West
This is the final preview of the SEC football teams:
The Alabama Crimson Tide’s plan is to be in the SEC title game every season.
Alabama is 7-4 in the SEC championship game, including a three-game winning streak.
The Tide’s path to the football playoff series begins in Atlanta against Florida State.
The opener is one of three predicted tough games on Alabama’s schedule.
A loss against the Seminoles just puts a little mreo pressure on Alabma not to lose another game.
The loss to Clemson in the title game fuels the fire of which conference is better – but a victory over FSU (59 precent chance of winning) will put the Tide right back to the top of the hill.
Alabama should roll past Fresno State (99.4), Colorado Stste (97.6), Vanderbilt (91) and Ole Miss (92.3) before visiting Texas A&M (81.7).
The Tide will be either undefeated or 5-1 before taking on Arkansas (94.3) and Tennessee (86.5).
The showdown with LSU (79.8) on Nov. 4 is one of the major obstacles for Alabama to win the SEC West.
The Tide should roll past Mississippi State (87.2) and Mercer (99.8) before visting Auburn (55.5) in the Iron Bowl.
The clash between rivals has determined the SEC West eight times in the past 10 seasons with LSU claiming the other two titles.
Alabama could be 12-0 or 11-1 at the end of the regular season and right back where they expect to be every season.
If the Tide loses two games - they might still win the West – if one of those defeats is to FSU.
Losses to LSU and Aubrun would derail the Tide’s chance for a return trip to Atlanta.
After Lane Kiffin left and Steve Sarkisian directed the offense in the title game, the Crimson Tide has a new offensive corridinator – Brian Daboll.
Jalen Hurts is the first Alabama starting quarterback to return since A.J. McCarron in 2013.
If Hurts goes down to injury, freshmen Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones are talented but never played in a college game.
Junior Calvin Ridley will be the star receiver but look for Cam Sims and Robert Foster to make plays.
Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris (1,000 yards in 2016) will led the running game and take the pressure of Hurts having to run so much after gaining 954 yards last season.
The NFL took a lot of Tide talent on both sides of the ball – but Alabama is still loaded.
Da’Ron Payne and Da’Shawn Hand will be critical pieces on a defensive line along with junior college transfer Isaiah Buggs.
Shaun Dion Hamilton suffered an ACL tear last season and his return will be crucial at middle linebacker.
Rashaan Evans, Terrell Hall, Anfernee Jennings and Christian Miller are expected to perform well in the linebacking corps.
Key starters return in the secondary with Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison and Anthony Averett.
Sept. 2 Florida State
Sept. 9 Fresno State
Sept. 16 Colorado State
Sept. 23 at Vanderbilt
Sept. 30 Ole Miss
Oct. 7 at Texas A&M
Oct. 14 Arkansas
Oct. 21 Tennessee
Nov. 4 LSU
Nov. 11 at Miss. State
Nov. 18 Mercer
Nov. 25 at Auburn