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What should be the realistic expectation for Alabama football in year one under Kalen DeBoer?

Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer watches the Crimson Tide basketball team
Gary Cosby Jr. - USA Today Sports

It is amazing how the mentality of some Alabama fans changed after 2007 and 2009 with Nick Saban.

Crimson Tide supporters wanted to be competitive again after ’07, but the idea became all about national championships after watching Saban hoist his first BCS National Championship with the Tide in the ’09 season. Expectations in Tuscaloosa (Ala.) became all about capturing trophies. A winning season meant a national championship while suffering a loss became a letdown.

RELATED: Why Kalen DeBoer’s offensive system will work in the SEC?

If the Tide went 11-1 or 10-2, it was coined as a “rebuilding year.” In a 12-team College Football Playoff, what are realistic expectations for a first-year Alabama football head coach? Fans want an answer to this question for Kalen DeBoer as he looks to compete for his first national title at Alabama. He came close to winning one at Washington, but Michigan got in the way.

The degree of difficulty for any school to go undefeated is hard.

A 12-team playoff makes it more challenging as we could several one-loss and two-loss teams get in.

Alabama’s realistic expectation under DeBoer is at least 11-1. The Tide may have one blemish on its schedule, but no one knows who it will come against. Georgia could hand it defeat in the fourth game, it could get tripped up by Tennessee, Missouri, or Oklahoma, or Auburn could bite them at the end in the Iron Bowl. A 1-loss Alabama team is a realistic expectation. 

Some may even have Alabama as a two-loss team, but that might not happen. DeBoer’s main thing is making sure the Tide are one of the four seeds with a first-round bye. We are in for an incredible showing of college football in the fall.

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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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