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Reasons why an SEC-only schedule bodes well for Alabama this season

Nick Saban and Alabama run on to the field during 2017 season
Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Everyone has taken a sigh of relief as college football will be played this year.

RELATED: Breaking: SEC announces conference-only schedule for 2020 season

According to announcement from athletic director Greg Byrne and Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide will have a 10-game, conference-only schedule. The season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 26 against Georgia, and the tandem of Florida and Vanderbilt will be added to the slate. While most people would have wanted to see the Tide start with a tune-up matchup before facing the Bulldogs, it gets football regardless. In a sea of both excitement and frustration, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine has compiled three reasons why this conference-only looks bodes well for Alabama.

Full preparation for Georgia

Not playing a tune-up game before facing Georgia has placed fear in the hearts of some fans.

Nick Saban wanted more SEC games on the schedule and since he has it, the six-time national champion will do all he can to assure his program will be ready. When he has more than enough time to prepare for an opponent, Saban typically excels at forcing the opposition to be one-dimensional. With a healthy roster and the sports performance team of David Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea, we could potentially have an extra week of fall camp, players breaking down more information on Zoom calls, and other things needed to make sure the team is wired in.

Even without a full Bryant-Denny Stadium, these student-athletes just want to play football again.

A backup quarterback for Alabama has led the program to wins over Georgia in the 2017 and 2018 seasons and despite this campaign being different, the Tide will refuses to miss out on a national title for a third straight year.

Media cannot scoff at Alabama’s schedule

What is national media’s favorite slogan when it comes to Alabama football?

They don’t play anybody… or its schedule is too weak.

In going to a 10-game conference schedule, this conversation becomes irrelevant.

The Crimson Tide will not have a cupcake or an easy opponent. Each week will feel like a playoff game, as Saban’s team will get the best effort from others in the conference. After it starts with Georgia, the Tide looks at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Auburn, Florida and Vanderbilt. It will travel to Tiger Stadium to face the defending national champions of Louisiana State University, while having road trips against the Rebels, Volunteers and Razorbacks.

RELATED: Alabama head coach Nick Saban releases statement on new 10-game season

On top of this, there is also the thought of Alabama playing either Florida or Vanderbilt on the road.

Should the Tide be able to navigate this gauntlet without a loss and no injuries, it will earn its way into the College Football Playoff with an opportunity to play for a national championship.

With this schedule, Nick Saban and Alabama can’t afford to let up or look ahead to other teams.

Tide fans get a compelling season

Like national media, Alabama fans want to see great matchups.

People may not be filing into the stadium, but watching cupcake games on the television doesn’t help either.

The consumer controls what’s hot and what’s not in sports, and consistent marquee games on a weekly basis is hot.

This SEC-only schedule for the Tide will keep fans on the edge of their seats, and it will also have TV networks in a bidding war to see who gets which game. Ratings will be high because everyone wants football, and competitive football is better than easy matchups or no action at all.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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