Power Ranking the Alabama Football Schedule: Where Does Florida Fall?
The Crimson Tide football schedule is full of questions. How will the athletes handle their final six SEC opponents all coming off bye weeks? Will Alabama underestimate Georgia State or San Jose State?
In this article I will rank Alabama's entire schedule from the toughest team, to the weakest. Start the slide and see if you agree with my rankings, or think I'm way off base.
#1: The Iron Bowl, Auburn
You may not agree with this one, but last year Auburn came out with speed and trick plays that caught the Tide off guard. Additionally, they were able to stop Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram dead in his tracks.
This game can always go either way, and with the Tigers coming off a bye week, Nick Saban had better make sure his boys are focused on the task at hand.
Alabama has the talent to win this one, but it will take discipline as well.
Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes, and a dozen other star athletes are no longer with the Gators, but let's be honest, this is the SEC. Any team can be beat on any day in this conference.
Urban Meyer will not soon forget the defeat his team suffered in the 2009 SEC championship game, and they will come to Tuscaloosa prepared.
The Gators are looking forward to this shot at redemption; Saban ought to have this one circled!
This match-up goes way back. The first meeting took place on December 19, 1959 (Liberty Bowl). Alabama leads the series 8-5, but is only 1-2 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Believe it or not, Joe Paterno has been involved in every single game throughout this series. Safe to say that he know plenty about Alabama.
The Nittany Lions will probably have trouble running the ball in this one, but I wouldn't be surprised to see The 'Ol Ball Coach score on a few big plays.
Death Valley, LSU
Bama and LSU is always a fun one to watch. A lot of action and speed on the field every year.
Alabama has a decent record in Death Valley, but this is not an easy place to play. Bear Bryant said "....it's the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It's like being inside a drum."
Excitement is sure to be on hand when the Tide arrive on November 6, and with Les Miles on the chopping block this season, this game is a must win for the Bayou Bengals.
The Third Saturday in October, Tennessee
The only reason I have Tennessee ranked as the 5th toughest on Alabama's schedule, is because of how intense this rivalry is.
In all honesty the Vols have been abandoned by their head coach (Lane Kiffin), and I fully anticipate a blow out, but it will only take one mistake for Tennessee to capitalize on.
Another great SEC match-up takes place in the fourth week of the college football season, when Alabama travels to Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Razorbacks always play with passion, and honestly have some of the hardest hitters I have ever seen in the SEC.
I am looking forward to this one.
With Steve Spurrier at the helm, the Gamecocks are looking better each year. They have some speed at tailback, and a couple of linebackers with quick feet.
Of course this is also an SEC game, and as always it will be a great one to watch. It will probably be a night game in South Carolina.
Sorry, but you just can't break the will of the SEC. Talk about an old rivalry, you have to go all the way back to 1894 for this one.
Alabama leads the series 43-9-2, but as of late the Rebels have shown a will to win. I would not be surprised if Ole Miss coming off of a bye week catches Bama playing down early in the game.
Yes I have put Duke ahead of Mississippi State. Why? Just when the Bulldogs had a good thing going with Sly Croom, they let him go. And I believe the momentum, however small, went with him.
Duke doesn't have the best football team, and it should be an easy win for the Tide, but it will be nice to watch a game that you don't get to see everyday.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs have a lot of tradition, a lot of pride, and a lot of cow bells, but this game will be played at Bryant-Denny, and I can assure you that very few bells will slip past the check points.
In my opinion, Sly Crume was a great thing for this program, but he is gone, and now the Bulldogs have to find a way to rebound.
This one, SEC or not, will be over in the first half.
San Jose State
I have heard some speculations about the Tide possibly losing this one due to them not taking the Spartans seriously. Seriously?!?
Look, this is not Appalachian State vs. a mediocre Big Ten conference team (Michigan). This is the Southeastern Conference we are talking about here. San Jose State will be destroyed in this game.
The first Alabama game I ever saw form the stands was similar to this one. Western Carolina vs. Alabama. Bama won 52-0, and that was in the days of Mike Shula. Nick Saban will have his way with the Spartans.
Practice pictures are all we have of Georgia State because, well, they have never played a game! That's right, 2010 is the inaugural season for the Georgia State football team.
I understand that Bill Curry is the coach and that he is no slouch; but come on people! Boys that have never played a down of collegiate football will come to Tuscaloosa, one of the most hostile stadiums in the country, to play men. Men like Greg McElroy who has never lost a game as a starter, men like Heisman winner Mark Ingram. Alabama has experience.
I am still of the opinion that Coach Saban should sit his starters for this entire game, to give them a week of rest before playing Auburn. Even with the back ups, this one will be very one-sided.