Alabama football: 10 bold predictions for the Crimson Tide in 2019
Has anyone ever tried to taste chalk? Like, actually put tongue to a bit of calcium carbonate?
It is bland. It is anything but delicious. And it is boring.
Chalk says that the Alabama Crimson Tide will wend their way through the 2019 season and back to a 4th instant classic College Football Playoff Championship Game against Clemson. Chalk says Nick Saban will eventually welcome a Balfour ring salesman into his office to see if his size has changed from 2 seasons ago.
Chalk is boring.
That’s why we are here with 10 Bold Predictions. And without giving away the ending, 2019 will be anything but chalk for the Crimson Tide. Here we go …
1. Tua Tagovailoa will not win the Heisman Trophy
Told ya! Alabama’s sweet Hawaiian prince is many things, but his Crimson Tide career will end after this season without Mr. Stiff Arm in the trophy case. Just as there are often travesties of justice in who actually wins the thing (See Toretta, Gino …), that Tagovailoa will leave Tuscaloosa without a bronze trophy will happen. Last year was Tagovailoa’s year to win the Heisman, and if he didn’t win it then despite throwing for 43 TDs and almost 4,000 yards, well …
2. Tua Tagovailoa will miss at least one start due to injury
It isn’t like said sweet Hawaiian prince is made of iron. Or granite. Or bronze like the Heisman. He is human, and has a tendency to get banged up now and then. Again, we saw that last season. At some point, a hungry SEC defensive lineman will get a wild hair and somehow twist Tagovailoa’s knee or ankle enough for him to miss a game like Western Carolina on Nov. 23.
3. Alabama will rise to No. 1 during the regular season
The Crimson Tide has been ranked atop the Associated Press poll at some point each season in each of the past 11 years. This will be a year of tremendous upheaval in the rankings, we predict. Which means Alabama going back to the top will happen again, as Clemson — even with all its greatness — will inevitably stumble.
4. Alabama will lose in the regular season
Someone just spit out a mouthful of Golden Flake and is feverishly reaching for their Co-Cola right now. Yes, Alabama will lose in 2019. The trick, of course, is losing early enough to rebound. Watch Texas A&M win some sort of fluke double-OT oddball game at home on Oct. 12 — knocking the Tide down to No. 4 or so.
5. An NFL team will make a run at Nick Saban
This isn’t so much as a prediction as it is a near-certainty — as it happens almost every year. Overtures at college football’s greatest living coach (we see you, Bobby Bowden …) come floating across uber-agent Jimmy Sexton’s desk almost every year. Some are pure fantasy. Some probably come closer to reality than anyone other than Saban and Ms. Terry will ever know. But a billionaire will offer to hand Saban the reins yet again.
6. No 100-yard rushers for Alabama opponents
Entering 2018, only 13 running backs had rushed for 100 yards against Saban’s defense at Alabama. Inexplicably, The Citadel’s Dante Smith ripped off 130 rushing yards against a wildly disinterested Tide defense. That won’t happen again, as Alabama’s Anfernee Jennings and Dylan Moses will be the ones to ensure it.
7. Some QB will make Alabama’s defense look very ordinary
Just as Dante Smith carved up (well, relatively …) the Alabama defense last season, there will be a quarterback somewhere who simply has a career day. Sure interceptions will deflect off normally sticky hands. One-handed grabs and tip-toed sidelines will wow color commentators. And some Joe Varsity will rack up a 300-yard, 4-TD afternoon.
8. Alabama’s kicker won’t miss a field goal under 50 yards
Nothing grinds the gears quite like having one of the most dominant offenses in college football history, only to endure a kicker doinking attempts off uprights and crossbars (sometimes all in one misguided attempt!) Just as the law of large numbers factors into No. 10 below, this will be the season that freshman (gasp!) kicker Will Reichard becomes Mr. Automatic.
9. Nick Saban will drop an F-bomb on national television
Saban has come close before. Saban roasted Maria Taylor in an instant meme-worthy rant about the Tagovailoa-vs.-Jalen Hurts debate. Perhaps truly random or perhaps meticulously planned, this will be the year Saban tees up one of George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words to the nation in an effort to get the message across that he is actually pissed off about something completely different.
10. Alabama will not win its 18th national championship
Here we go with the Golden Flake and Co-Cola again. Although national championships seem like fait accompli under Nick Saban, invariably there has to be some sort of course correction in all this. If for no other reason than the law of large numbers simply dictate that someone other than Clemson or Alabama can win it all. Yes, that’s right … Clemson won’t win either. But 2019 won’t require an 18th NC flag for Bryant-Denny Stadium.