Breaking It Down: SEC Schedule
The SEC has made no formal announcement about the 2020-2021 schedule to this point. In this article, we will take a look at the teams announced to play Alabama and what each one brings to the table this season. There are still two more teams to be named, so we will talk about what we know so far.
1. Georgia - Georgia will be an exciting team to watch this season. The Bulldogs will be without the services of Jake Fromm, as well as D'Andre Swift. However, Georgia has brought back most of their defense, which was the No. 1 scoring defense in the country and allowed 12.6 points per game. So while they may not be offensively as deadly, their defense gives them a chance to win every game, including this one. Also necessary to add, that as long as championships remain in Division 1 and the SEC, this could be a potential two-game series.
2. Ole Miss - To most people's surprise, don't sleep on the Rebels. Lane Kiffin has a lot to prove in his first year as head coach but will need to have a solid recruiting class to build this team for the future. The Rebels have a QB battle brewing between three grand, but utterly different style QB's, so that is why I feel Alabama will have no problem matching up with a building, but very young offense.
3. Tennessee - The Volunteers are another team that I wouldn't take for granted. Tennessee has a solid O-line, which is what they will attempt to build around this season. Trey Smith is the star player on this team, and in his senior season at wide receiver, he will try to come out and end his career with a bang. I won't say that Alabama will easily handle this game, but it should be a very, winnable game.
4. Arkansas - They have lost 19 consecutive SEC Conference games. The schedule doesn't favor them in any way, and it looks for Alabama to win this game easily. There isn't anything else to mention about it.
5. Texas A&M - This team is my pick for underrated team of the SEC. I know what you're thinking; Why would you ever say that James? It is true that the Aggies that since 2013 the Aggies have only ended the season in the top 25 one time. However, this season the Aggies have several players who are ready for the next level and could easily be a sleeper team in a conference schedule. Alabama and Texas A&M may not be an offensive shoot-out, but it will be entertaining. Alabama has the edge, but honestly, not by much.
6. LSU - The defending National Champions (that is hard even to type my friends). LSU and Alabama played an exciting game last season in Bryant Denny Stadium. When you lose your QB to the NFL, we are going to ask about your offensive players. The Tigers are going to rely on a great defense. However, you may not be able to avoid it. They are fast, significant, and will pound the rock until you don't even realize what happened. Athletic ability is going to be a key in this game. I genuinely believe that this matchup will be a defensive showdown between two very fast and hungry defenses. This one is a toss-up for me.
7. Auburn - There is, once again, a Newton suiting up in a Tiger uniform. Caylin Newton will attempt to battle for the QB spot for Auburn. I am bringing this up because Auburn is a team that seems to be a thorn in the side of the Crimson Tide. I don't have to remind you all about what happened last year, but Auburn hasn't lost a lot on offense or defense. Newton will come to compete, and if he is anything like his stats showed in the MEAC Conference (MEAC Offensive Player of the Year, 22 TD and 51.5 percent passes completed) show, then Alabama may want to prepare for an upset. The game will be in Tuscaloosa this year, so I would still give the edge to the Tide in this game. Alabama is also coming to avenge a loss, and we have seen how that works for them in the past.
8. Mississippi State - Mississippi State poses an exciting matchup. It is not because they have more skill than Bama, but because of their head coach and his ability to quickly turn around teams. Look at all of the team's Leach has coached, and you will see the same thing, simple play-calling and high scoring offenses. These Bulldogs will have to work hard to build this team from the ground up after a very disappointing campaign last year. This matchup won't be a problem for Alabama, but look for both sides to score, score, and score.
The bottom line is this, can Alabama win ten games this season and make a solid run towards the National Championship? The answer is yes, but it will not be a cakewalk. I would say that five out of the ten games they will play will be decided by 10 points or less. My prediction? Alabama will win 9 out of 10 and still make the College Football Playoff en route to another National Championship.
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