Alabama Football: Game-by-Game predictions for 2015
With Alabama’s starting quarterback competition soon to be decided, there’s no better time to continue our SEC game-by-game predictions series breaking down each and every contest during the regular season.
We pride ourselves on knowing college football’s most competitive conference as well as anyone and as one reader pointed out this summer using a weighted point system based on accuracy against other preseason prognosticators, our annual ‘Crystal Ball’ ranks among the nation’s most precise.
We called a couple big-time upsets last fall including Mississippi’s win over Alabama, but whiffed on South Carolina’s abrupt fall from grace in the East along with Mizzou’s second consecutive division title.
We’re ready for another exciting season of SEC football, aren’t you?
2015 CRYSTAL BALL SERIES
- MISSISSIPPI STATE
- OLE MISS
- SOUTH CAROLINA
- TEXAS A&M
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
THE 2015 BATTLEFIELD
Sept. 5 vs. Wisconsin (Arlington, W): Like last season’s opener, this one will be a struggle at times against a quality team. Three of Derrick Henry’s five career 100-yard games have come indoors and he’ll do it again.
Sept. 12 vs. Middle Tennessee (W): The Crimson Tide defense is already in midseason form in this year’s home opener.
Sept. 19 vs. Ole Miss (W): We picked last year’s upset, but it’s not happening this time around in Tuscaloosa. Alabama covers.
Sept. 26 vs. Louisiana-Monroe (W): Alabama’s third straight home game will make for this season’s second-largest blowout.
Oct. 3 at Georgia (L): One of the SEC’s major showdowns this season, Alabama’s first-year starting quarterback — whether that’s Jake Coker or David Cornwell — struggles in a hostile, College GameDay environment. The Bulldogs move into the Top 5 with a win.
Oct. 10 vs. Arkansas (W): Much like last season’s finish, Brandon Allen will have a shot late in the fourth quarter to upset a rival. Will it happen this time around for the senior quarterback?
Oct. 17 at Texas A&M (W): Ignore last season’s 59-point beating. This one won’t be as easy for the Crimson Tide. The Aggies spun out of control early during an embarrassing effort a season ago and will be ready — with a better defense — to give Alabama a game at Kyle Field.
Oct. 24 vs. Tennessee (W): Expect a competitive, hard-fought battle that goes down as one of this season’s great games. The Vols are back and provide the Crimson Tide with a serious scare.
Nov. 7 vs. LSU (W): Will we get an overtime classic or does the Tigers’ ongoing questions at quarterback lead to a sizable loss? LSU tries to play spoiler, but Alabama finds a way to win its fourth straight.
Nov. 14 at Mississippi State (W): Dak Prescott finishes 0-3 as a starter during his career against Nick Saban despite help from the cowbells.
Nov. 21 vs. Charleston Southern (W): Does 56-0 sound about right?
Nov. 28 at Auburn (W): It all comes down to this in the West. Both teams will enter with matching 10-win records with a national audience shifting their attention once again toward the Iron Bowl. Much like last season’s affair, points will be readily available.
2015 PROJECTED FINISH: 11-1, 7-1; First in the West
THE LOWDOWN: For the third consecutive season, I’m picking Alabama to lose a single game during the regular season, win the West and the SEC title — which would result in a second straight College Football Playoff berth. The Crimson Tide avenge an earlier loss to Georgia in Atlanta, then it’s onto the semifinal.