Things You Will Know That Will Surprise Other People About Alabama’s Football Team This Year
By: Larry Burton
One of the good things about being a member of the Touchdown Alabama team here is that you get the inside news before it happens. You can impress your friends with the things that are likely to happen this year that may surprise others not in the loop.
While my prognostic skills may not be perfect, I’ve been putting my thoughts and predictions in print for several years now and no one has been more accurate when it comes to all things Crimson Tide Football. With that in mind, here are the things that could come to pass before the final whistle of this upcoming season.
So here are ten predictions that you should watch develop as the season goes on.
1. While Blake Sims starts the season as the backup QB, if push came to shove after mid-season in a must win game and AJ is injured, don’t be surprised to see Alec Morris step in. He’s more ready than most realize and the coaches are well aware of his abilities. Just as Nick Saban said he’d use AJ McCarron, who had never taken a game snap, against Texas in the 2009 championship game over the more seasoned backup, history could repeat itself with Morris.
2. It bothers the players on the team who didn’t start on the 2009 BCS Championship Game that while they earned two national championship rings, they haven’t been an undefeated champion. This team is not cocky, but winning a championship is not the only goal, winning it with an exclamation mark is. Though fear of Saban and saying the wrong thing will keep them from mentioning it publicly, they have mentioned to me that bugs them to no end and only an undefeated season will satisfy them.
3. People who think Amari Cooper is the best pass snagger at the Capstone may find that a healed and ready Chris Black is ready to take that title for himself. But one thing you can be sure of, with Chris Black on one side, Amari Cooper on the other and either Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell, DeAndrew White or Christion Jones in the slot, Alabama has the most talented group of receivers in the country.
4. Anyone thinking that the Texas A&M Game will be a nail biter doesn’t understand football. Distractions, a rebuilding offensive line and an Alabama offense that will truly role will more than fill the bucket of revenge for last year’s loss. This is the game Alabama serves notice that if you thought last year’s team was good, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
5. Bama is due a let down game. Though I fully expect this to be an undefeated team, a letdown game is something that could and probably will happen. It could come against a spirited Ole Miss team or an LSU team that is always capable of making a team look bad. Then there’s always the SEC Championship Game, another place for another near disaster just as last season’s was. However, it come in the BCS Championship where Alabama will put another beat down on yet another truly unprepared team.
6. So you’re in the know, the teams I expect to have the best chance to be the BCS opponent for Alabama in their quest for a three peat is:
1. Ohio State (Urban Meyer may need more doctoring after this next Bama beat down)
2. Stanford (Stanford in the Rose Bowl again? Wouldn’t that be sweet)
3. Louisville (Plays few teams capable of beating them, but this wuss league, for now, is still a BCS conference)
7. This center at Alabama this season, Ryan Kelly, is going to the best center at Alabama in many years, yes better than Barrett Jones.
8. Jeoffrey Pagan is going to be the surprise player on the defensive front this season.
9. Alabama’s punting has not been sterling for some time although Cody Mandell did finish the last year at number 17. This year he will finish near the top and be one of Alabama’s real weapons.
10. Alabama’s defense overall finished number one in 2012, a championship year. They finished first in total defense in 2011, a championship year. In 2009, they finished number two in total defense, another championship year. This season, they’ll win another national championship, but they’ll finish the year with a total defense rating around five or less.
The reason? The offense scores too quickly this season giving opponents more opportunities than they’ve had in the past.
And there are the predictions that some may not see coming, but you are now in the know.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow Larry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter