Everyone has heard the old adage, you're only as strong as your weakest link. On Jan. 2 the University Of Alabama will be without its strongest link and that cant be good news for the Tide.
In the 75th annual Sugar Bowl the Crimson Tide will be without the Outland Trophy winner Andre Smith. The big left tackle reportedly spoke with an NFL agent about his upcoming draft status, and was suspended by head coach Nick Saban and sent back home to Birmingham.
The Tide will be facing an extremely talented team in the Utah Utes, who have remained undefeated. The Tide knows the feeling, having remained undefeated in the regular season, until they met the Gators of Florida.
Despite Smith's omission, the Tide should still fare well in the Sugar Bowl against the Utes. When talking about the Tide, you are talking about a team that lead the SEC in total defense, and ranked highly in scoring offense. On both sides of the ball the Tide will have it hunkered down and should give the Utah Utes a handful.
Will Utah be able to rush against Bama's left side? They will most definitely not. You can look for left guard Mike Johnson to start at left tackle and David Ross to start at left guard. Mike Johnson was a former tackle and can uphold the ever-important task of protecting QB John Parker Wilson's blind-side extremely well.
In year two of Nick Saban, Alabama's competitive spirit has been at an all-time high, their conditioning is superb, and their grit has wrote its name in crimson flame.
This Alabama team is focused and will not let a petty suspension ruin there Sugar Bowl hopes. So, your only as strong as your weakest link, on Friday what will Alabama's be? I don't know, but it sure isn't the left side of the offensive line.