As you enjoy the Week 4 cupcake, let's discuss the rest of Alabama's schedule
With a close escape on Saturday and 2 wins against ranked opponents outside the state of Alabama, the Crimson Tide can finally catch its collective breath.
Alabama clobbered Miami in the season-opener in Atlanta, hammered Mercer then survived a late Florida run to win their first 3 games. Now, Alabama faces Southern Mississippi. Unless former Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre shows up in his prime, this game should not test Bama’s mettle. However, things get tougher after that for Alabama and coach Nick Saban.
The Tide most definitely are not allowed to look ahead, but that’s never going to stop fans from doing so.
vs. Ole Miss
This game may be the scariest on the list for Alabama fans. Former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin knows Saban well. Kiffin is often given the most credit for turning Alabama from a ground-and-pound, running offense that keeps things close to the vest to one of the most impressive offenses in recent history — if not ever. Saban has bought in with the score -fast-and-score-often model, but Kiffin may know how to top it. Kiffin puts a lot into this game and will likely manage to score plenty of points against the Tide. The games between Kiffin and Alabama have been close whether he was at Ole Miss or Tennessee.
at Texas A&M
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher is also an offensive mind and a former Saban assistant, like Kiffin. However, he hasn’t had near the success that Kiffin has had against Saban. Fisher’s Aggies teams have been beaten by a cumulative score of 144-75 against Alabama since Fisher took the job before the 2018 season. However, Fisher should have the type of talent that can at least rival Alabama, but it’s still hard to imagine Bama losing this game this season.
at Mississippi State
Playing at Mississippi State is difficult. It seems every fan always needs more cowbell. They usually get it. State coach Mike Leach will be the key to any potential Bulldogs upset. He has the ability to manufacture points with unique game plans but just because he’s done it before doesn’t mean he can do it against Alabama. The Crimson Tide hammered State 41-0 last season. Different coaches, obviously, but Saban has won 13 in a row over the Bulldogs.
The Vols’ most talented player from last season will be clad in Crimson in the annual meeting of this historic rivalry. The good news for Tennessee is that Alabama linebacker Henry To’o To’o hasn’t seen much of Josh Heupel’s offense because the Vols changed coaches and offenses (once again) after To’o To’o left Knoxville for Tuscaloosa. Saban is 14-0 against the Vols.
It’s hard to believe that the Tigers fielded an explosive offense led by the eventual first pick of the NFL Draft, finished the season 15-0 and won a national championship just 2 seasons ago in 2019. Last season was a huge letdown, and now the Tigers have an embarrassing loss to UCLA on their record this season. The talent should be there, but LSU seems in disarray even after lopsided wins against McNeese and Central Michigan.
vs. New Mexico State
The “other” Aggies are 1-3. This won’t be much of a challenge.
The Razorbacks are 5th in the SEC in points allowed with 16 yielded per game. Surprisingly, the offense is holding up its end of the deal. Arkansas is tied for 4th with Alabama in scoring with 41 points per game. That includes one of the most surprising upsets in college football as the Razorbacks hammered Texas 40-21 in Week 2. Otherwise, it’s tough to assess Arkansas, which has also beaten Rice and Georgia Southern soundly. The Razorbacks have some toughness. They had better rely on that instead of trying to outscore Alabama. We’ll know much more about the Hogs after they play Texas A&M on Saturday.
The Iron Bowl always commands respect from coaches, fans and players. As we’ve seen, anything can happen in this esteemed rivalry. Cam-back, Kick-6. This game produces moments, memories and legends. As for this season, the Tigers will benefit from the incredibly improved play of quarterback Bo Nix. Auburn is also more difficult to prepare for thanks to Bryan Harsin’s offense. That wasn’t the case last year. Despite some success, former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn didn’t offer up many surprises.