With spring football behind us and a couple of months until media days, let's take a look at Nick Saban's second season on the Capstone.
-Aug. 30 Clemson (at Atlanta): Clemson will be ranked in the top 10 coming into this with hopes of a BCS title game. The only plus is this game is in Atlanta, and Bama fans will travel. Early test for John Parker and company; expect a struggle for the offense against a strong Tiger defense. Clemson 24-17
-Sept. 6 Tulane: Nothing like a middle of the road C-USA team to work the kinks out of a new offense. Alabama 31-7
-Sept. 13 Western Kentucky: Back-to-back cupcakes to warm-up for a brutal road trip should serve the Tide well. Alabama 34-14
-Sept. 20 @Arkansas: Welcome back to the SEC, Bobby Petrino. This won't be D-Macs Razorbacks, but Fayetteville is always a tough place to play. Still, the offense should be hitting on all cylinders. Alabama 20-14
-Sept. 27 @ Georgia: The Bulldogs will be number one in the country and Knowshon Moreno should be making a Heisman run. To put it lightly, this will be a tough test for a young defense. Still, Bama plays up to its opponents, and Mark Richt teams are known to slip up at least one game per season. So, it expect a close one between the hedges. Georgia 26-20
-Oct. 4 Kentucky: Rich Brooks has Kentucky on the right track, but with the loss of Andre Woodson do not expect another 8-5 run by the Wildcats. After two tough road games the Tide will be happy to be back in front of the home crowd. Alabama 27-10
-Oct. 18 Ole Miss: The "Right-Reverend" Houston Nutt takes over the Rebels, and maybe he can get Colonel Reb to stop crying. A solid defense finally gets a SEC caliber QB in Texas transfer Jevon Snead, but the Rebels are still a year or two from competing in the very strong SEC west. Alabama 21-17
-Oct. 25 @Tennessee: Another tough SEC road game, but the Vols will be breaking in a new quarterback and a new offense. Still Alabama has only one win (2002) in Neyland since 1994. Tennessee 21-17
- Nov. 1 Arkansas State (Homecoming): lets hope the Tide show up to play this year, coming off last years let down against La. Monroe. Should be a good game for the backups and freshman to get some experience. Alabama 38-10
-Nov. 8 @LSU: Do you think this game is circled on Les Miles calendar? Nick Saban returns to Baton Rouge for the first time since raising the crystal football in 2003. Will Ryan Perrilloux still be under center for the Tigers? Will the "process" finally come full circle with a Saban shocker? Alabama 23-20
-Nov. 15 Mississippi State: Will the Tide end the two game skid against the fighting Crooms? This game will be better than most think but the Tide will not look past the Bulldogs for a third year in a row. Alabama 27-17
-Nov. 29 Auburn: There are six-year-old Bama fans that don't know what it's like to beat Auburn. The last time "Rammer Jammer" rained down on the Auburn faithful was in 2002. Well, fire up the band cause there will not be a louder place than Bryant-Denny stadium that November night. John Parker and this senior class will put their stamp in the Bama record books. Alabama 27-20
The Tide will end the 2008 season 9-3, vastly improved from Saban's first season. With tough road games, and if the injury bug bites, the lack of depth will show. So it could be worse. However, with a senior quarterback and Saban having one more year to shape the program, expect the Tide to be riding high in 2008.