Next year, the Alabama Crimson Tide football team will be coming off a national championship win in which they showed the voters that they were without a doubt the best team in the nation. With victory and glory, and having the right to be called the national champs, Alabama has a target back for the 2012 season.
This schedule, if you look at it closely, is daunting, crazy and unreal, but what SEC schedule isn't? (Another reason why Oklahoma State fans just need to stop complaining and come back to reality) The Tide have a huge opening game against Michigan just like LSU did last year against Oregon. It will also be played in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., just like the LSU/Oregon game.
The schedule will be hectic for the Crimson Tide, but if Alabama goes 11-1 or 12-0, you can pretty much guarantee a spot in the SEC Championship Game or the national title game.
It will be interesting to see how A.J. McCarron does in his junior year. He grew up before our eyes in the national title game. He didn't have a touchdown pass, but he had full control of the offense and he looked like the leader on the field. If he plays like that next year, Alabama might just have a shot at going back to back.
The offensive will most likely be losing Trent Richardson, one of the most dynamic running backs this school has ever seen, but many highly-touted recruits are coming in and a lot of key contributors will be coming back, like Barrett Jones.
Alabama is losing a lot on defense, but if you look at how well some of the backups played this year fans have to be feeling good and impressed. It will be hard to replace guys if they leave like Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower and Mark Barron and so on.
But the recruiting class, especially on the defensive side of the ball has Crimson Tide fans drooling and probably Saban himself. Getting a guy like Landon Collins who could play right away was huge for this team.
Hopefully, Alabama rolls through their schedule and again hoists the crystal ball in January. Roll Tide!