What's in Store for the Alabama Crimson Tide This Season?

Heath McGuffCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2008

Coming into the season, the Alabama football team had many things to prove. One was that they were going to play a full 60 minutes and never let up and finish off teams.

Another question was: What are the expectations of this team? Many would say that Alabama is a changed team and the stats show it.

Last season Alabama rushed for a total of 1,940 yards on the season. In the first four games alone this season, they have racked up 619 yards and a average of 5 yards a carry.

Last season, Nick Walker had limited time on the field ending the season with only two touchdowns. This season, he has touched the ball 11 times and scored twice. Now let's talk about the expectations of this Alabama team.

  1. Does Alabama have a shot at the SEC West this season?

Yes, in my opinion Alabama can clinch the west if they minimize their mistakes and can catch a few good breaks every now and then, they will be able to contend for the SEC championship.

2. What will Alabama rely on to win the SEC and get a national championship berth?

I think for Alabama to contend for the SEC championship or the national championship they will have to rely on three things: their defense, their true freshmen, and protection for John Parker Wilson.

This season, Alabama has only allowed one touchdown, and their defense is tagged as one of the best rushing defenses in the country. Also Alabama's secondary has minimized their opponents to a low of 4.87 yards per attempt.

But the downside to this Alabama team is they have 11 freshman starters on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Their success will be crucial to this team.

The key to winning for the Crimson Tide will be the protection John Parker Wilson gets from his offensive line. During the Clemson game, they gave Parker enough time to find his targets down field and throw the ball.

Now let's go one week ahead to the Tulane game that was a example of poor focus on behalf of the O-line. There was so little time to throw the ball, Tulane accounted for a few sacks and rattled John Parker Wilson on numerous accounts.

3. Where does Alabama have room for improvement?

Personally I think Alabama could improve every aspect of this team. Mainly focusing on their defense and their passing game. Alabama this season is ranked 6th among the SEC on the offensive side of the football. This means Alabama needs to keep doing what they are doing but at the same time getting better at doing it. Glen Coffey and Mark Ingram combine for 206 yards per game in average. So if Alabama could put together an OK passing game then Alabama would be back on top of the collegiate football world in no time. Now  defensively Alabama needs to keep putting pressure on the other teams QB. While at the same time start making big plays for their team and capitalizing on their opponents' mistakes.

4. Alabama's confidence

This week, Alabama goes into Fayetteville with their first Top 10 ranking since 2005. This game means a lot to the how the rest of the season will play out.

They open up against Arkansas for their first SEC game of the year and o'boy its a big one. If Alabama wins this game, their confidence will tremendously be boosted. They will then head over to Athens, GA to take on the third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

If Alabama can prove to the world that they belong back to the top of the standings, then this would be a great time to prove the dominance of this Alabama football team.