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3 potential biggest opponents on Alabama football’s 2024 schedule

SEC logo on the field of Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Brett Davis - USA Today Sports

The University of Alabama football has a tough regular season schedule for the upcoming fall.

Kalen DeBoer, a first-year head coach for the Crimson Tide, has the task of guiding this team to a conference championship and possibly a national championship. The 49-year-old took the University of Washington to a Pac-12 Championship in 2023 and nearly delivered the program to a College Football Playoff national title. DeBoer has his work cut out for him, but at least he the roster to get it done for Alabama. In how the schedule sets up, who are the biggest three opponents for the Tide to face?

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A prediction of those opponents is below.

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia, by far, is the biggest opponent on Alabama’s regular season schedule.

Kirby Smart has an opportunity to walk into Bryant-Denny Stadium in the fall and get a victory. He sees a window to make the Bulldogs the institution everyone should model in college football with Nick Saban retired. Smart brings in a talented offense — headlined by quarterback Carson Beck — and a very good defense. Georgia is viewed by some college football media pundits as the new gold standard of the sport. Alabama has to wrestle that crown back, and it starts with handling the Bulldogs on the field.

Tennessee Volunteers

Alabama suffered a heartbreaking loss to Tennessee in 2022 at Neyland Stadium.

DeBoer will travel with the Tide to Knoxville (Tenn.) to face a hostile Volunteers crowd.

Tennessee fans believe that if they could finally defeat Saban after 15 years of losing, its program can handle DeBoer in his first year in the rivalry. The Vols have a quarterback in Nico Iamaleava that the team really likes. He recorded two touchdown passes and three rushing scores in 2023. The former five-star brings a dual-threat abilities that gave Alabama defenses problems during the Saban era. Tennessee also returns Bro McCoy and Squirrel White at wide receiver. Defensively, the Volunteers return a lot of leadership pieces — including defensive lineman James Pearce Jr. The “Third Saturday in October” matchup will be a good one.

Oklahoma Sooners 

Wisconsin has Alabama early in the college football season, but Oklahoma has more pieces to possibly beat the Tide.

Brent Venables achieved a 10-3 record in 2023 and has the Sooners returning with valuable players at running back, wide receiver, and on defense. It has to locate its starting quarterback; however, having the Tide face Oklahoma before the Iron Bowl to close its regular season makes the matchup against the Sooners tough. Oklahoma has a difficult Southeastern Conference schedule, but if it beats Alabama then it becomes worthwhile. The Tide can’t afford to overlook the Sooners.

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Stephen M. Smith is the 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 15 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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