2015 Alabama Predictions — Best + Worst-Case for Alabama’s Season Record?
As fall practice approaches, the staff at Tide 99.1 is laying out its predictions on some of the bigger questions heading into Alabama's 2015 season. Next up: the best and worst case scenarios for the final record.
Much has been made about Alabama's scheduling in the past - see the low-level FBS teams - but no one will be complaining about the list of opponents in 2015. College football guru Phil Steele ranks the Crimson Tide's schedule as the toughest in the nation. Seven of the teams Alabama will face this season are ranked in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll.
Despite the difficult path to the College Football Playoff, the expectations in Tuscaloosa haven't dropped. Oddsmakers made Alabama one of the favorites to win the national championship and the media picked the team to win the SEC West.
With the uncertainty at quarterback and a difficult schedule in store, there could be many different outcomes this season. That's why the staff explained made a prediction for the best and worst-case scenarios for how the year would play out.
Chris Stewart (Show Host)
Best: 14-1. Despite a potential hiccup along the way, there is definitely enough talent for Alabama to claim another National Championship.
Worst: 10-3. If the bumps in the road arrive early (Wisconsin or Georgia), and the Tide doesn't handle it well, this could easily be a repeat of 2010.
Ryan Fowler (Show Host)
Best: Alabama has a chance to be special on the defense side of the ball and match the defense from 2011. If they can just get average play from the QB position, I believe Alabama returns to the identity of Alabama football under Nick Saban and beats teams running the football. That will only add to the success on the defensive side of the ball. Alabama repeats as SEC champion and a chance to play for a 16th national title.
Worst: Alabama’s worst case-scenario, is that the QB play puts the defense in bad situations. At worst it sets the win loss record at 9-3 with losses to Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia.
Ryan McMunn (Producer)
Best: Best case scenario for Alabama is going undefeated, winning the SEC Championship, and ultimately winning the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Worst: No Bama fan wants to talk about this because of the outrageous expectations set on Nick Saban and the program, and not to steal a line from Peter Burns (who was torched by Alabama fans for his prediction), but Alabama could potentially lose five games this season. They go to Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M, not to mention an always tough match-up with LSU. Plus they have to face Ole Miss and a sneaky good Arkansas Razorbacks team. I don’t see them losing five of those games, but should they drop four of them, we’ve seen in the past that the eventual bowl game that would ensue would not be acceptable to this Tide squad this season, and ultimately they would drop the bowl game and end up with that fifth loss.
Trey Brooks (Producer)
Best: 12-0 (not including postseason). There is not one team on this schedule Alabama is incapable of beating.
Worst: 8-4. If injuries continue to be a problem for Bama at RB, things could go downhill in a hurry, especially in October.
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
Best: 11-1 (14-1 overall). Even though Alabama has dominated the college football landscape with three national championships to its name since 2008, it’s rarely been perfect. Only once under Saban has Alabama gone undefeated (2009, 14-0), showing the difficultly of the task. The Crimson Tide – playing the most difficult schedule in the nation – will drop at least one regular season but still have enough to go to the SEC Championship Game, followed by yet another national championship victory in the second annual College Football Playoff.
Worst: 9-3 (10-3 overall). At most schools a nine- or 10-win season is cause for a celebration, but not at Alabama. The Crimson Tide has come up just shy in each of the past two seasons but still posted double-digit wins, just as it had in the five previous seasons before that. Still, the team has the toughest schedule in the nation this season, along with an almost entirely new cast of offensive personnel leading the charge, making it as vulnerable as it’s been in years. Those two factors – the strength of schedule and the significant inexperience on offense – will cost Alabama in a few regular season games, but the Tide will pull it together to finish strong with a bowl game win, a la the 2010 season.
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
Best: Despite the number of obstacles standing in this team's way, there's enough talent to win every game. There's a high probability that Alabama is favored in every game for the sixth season in a row. That's why this program's ceiling continues to be an undefeated record.
Worst: Unlike recent years, Alabama will be in a tight game nearly every week. You can't look at the schedule and assume any easy wins outside of Middle Tennessee, Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern. That's why I feel like three losses in the regular season is possible.