Alabama Football: What the Crimson Tide Need to Worry About

John Degroote@john_degrooteCorrespondent IISeptember 17, 2012

Nick Saban talks with his players during a timeout in their 52-0 massacre of the Arkansas Razorbacks
Nick Saban talks with his players during a timeout in their 52-0 massacre of the Arkansas RazorbacksNelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide football team are well on their way to a third national championship in four years. The Tide embarrassed Michigan 41-14 in their opener then dismantled an Arkansas Razorback team that were without their starting quarterback, 52-0.

The Alabama defense has only allowed two touchdowns in three games, outscoring their opponents 128-14.

Quarterback A.J. McCarron has been efficient as well, completing 64.3 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. The team lost running back Jalston Fowler to season-ending knee surgery, but the two-headed beast of freshman T.J. Yeldon and junior Eddie Lacy has been tearing up opponents in his absence.

Despite these strengths, there are some worries ahead for the Crimson Tide. It is one thing to have a stellar start to the season, but you have to finish strong to compete for the BCS National Championship.


Stability on the Offensive Line

The offensive line bounced back against Arkansas after allowing six sacks against Western Kentucky, but this does not mean they will hold up in the long term. Arkansas' defense, simply put, isn't good. They allowed 24 points to Jacksonville State and 34 points in a loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

Alabama's schedule is full of teams who will be able to bring the pressure, but the game to circle is their Nov. 10 matchup with Texas A&M.

Aggies junior defensive end Damontre Moore already has five sacks this season and is showing no sign of slowing down. He has been nearly unblockable through the first three games.

Alabama's line may shore up as the season goes on and they build more chemistry, but there should be some worry as they will face better opponents as the season goes on. No matter how efficient McCarron has been, it will be hard for him to continue to be that efficienct from his back.


The Iron Bowl

Throw out the records when it comes to the Iron Bowl.

Auburn and Alabama face off in the annual game that is widely considered one of the best and most hard-fought rivalries in all of sports. 

Alabama leads the series with an overall record of 41-34-1, but Auburn has won seven out of the last 10 games.

Auburn has not had the best start to their season, going 1-2 and barely pulling off a win against Louisiana-Monroe. But the Tigers always gets up to play Alabama and they have enough talent to possibly spoil the Crimson Tide's year in the last week of the regular season.



It's no secret—LSU will be the biggest test of Alabama's season, maybe even more than the SEC Championship or their eventual bowl game. Last season's game was so good, the BCS chose to have a rematch between the SEC powerhouses for the national championship.

The two teams hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the latest polls, but it is uncertain if they will remain in those spots before their meeting on Nov. 3.

LSU has Auburn, Florida and South Carolina on the schedule before the matchup. Alabama has to face both Missouri and Tennessee on the road as well as Mississippi State at home before they pay a visit to LSU.

Alabama has won three of the last five matchups with the Tigers, but LSU had won six straight prior to that.

The game will most likely decide who will play in the SEC title game and, eventually, the BCS National Championship game.

With USC's loss this weekend, it is becoming more and more likely that the crystal ball won't leave the Southeastern Conference for another year.