The Alabama Crimson Tide played in the first ever College Football Playoff and to be completely honest, that just makes sense. If the Tide want to make it into the playoff in the second year of its existence, they will have to navigate through the toughest schedule in the SEC to do it. Couple that with a defense struggling to keep up with the evolving offenses of the league and major question marks on the offense this has all the makings of a down year for the Tide.
As always the Crimson Tide begin the season with a neutral site game against the Wisconsin Badgers in Arlington, Texas. Wisconsin is rebuilding a bit of offense as well but are doing so under first year head coach Paul Chryst. This game should be an old school matchup of two teams who love to run the football between the tackles. Alabama finishes the month of September with a three game home stand against Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss & UL-Monroe. Middle Tennessee State finished the 2014 season 6-6 but have athletes all over the field but had a turnover margin of minus-15 last season. Alabama will surely be ready for Ole Miss when they visit Tuscaloosa in Week 3. UL-Monroe has been building a solid Sun Belt program over the last couple years but slipped to 4-8 last season.
October begins with Alabama’s first true road game and one of the most anticipated early season conference games in any conference when the Crimson Tide make the four and a half hour drive to Athens, Georgia, to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. Whether it was the ‘Dawg Pile’ in Bryant-Denny Stadium, the ‘Black Out’ in Sanford Stadium or the most exciting conference championship game in recent memory back in 2012, these two teams have given us some very exciting games and I don’t expect that to be any different in 2015. There’s no rest for the weary as the Tide come back home to find the Arkansas Razorbacks waiting in a classic trap game situation, especially after last year’s one-point thriller in Fayetteville. The next week Alabama hits the road again when they head down to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies who have been a thorn in the Crimson Tide side since they joined the season, minus last season’s 59-0 desolation of the Aggies in Tuscaloosa. After that three game gauntlet, the Tide come home again to find another trap game scenario when the Tennessee Volunteers are waiting at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama has the final Saturday of October off as they will be in full preparation mode for their annual street fight with the LSU Tigers. The past couple years, the conference has given each team a bye week prior to this game in an effort to get the best entertainment product possible when they take the field. It has paid off as this game has been decided by an average of just over a touchdown over the past six seasons. The next week Alabama must travel to Starkville, Mississippi, to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs who came on strong towards the end of last year’s game but ran out of steam. They should be ready for this one at home in 2015. Alabama closes out the 2015 regular season with two home games against FCS opponent Charleston Southern and the hated Auburn Tigers. The Charleston Southern Buccaneers hail from the Big South Conference and finished 8-4 in 2014. Four of the last six seasons we have had some big time, high drama in the Iron Bowl from the ‘Kick Six’ all the way to the Comeback in Jordan-Hare back in 2010. Much like the game against Georgia earlier in the season, I expect this one to deliver a stellar game again in 2015.
The Alabama Crimson Tide have some major personnel questions that need to be answered if they plan on being involved in the playoff discussion this season but with the talent on the roster, they aren’t that far away from being able to answer them all. Week in and week out, the Tide will have one of the toughest schedules in the SEC and some have even said in the country. With that said, I wouldn’t put it past Nick Saban to have this team poised to win them all.
Alabama 2015 Schedule
Sept 5th v. Wisconsin (In Arlington)
Sept 12th v. Middle Tennessee State
Sept 19th v. Ole Miss
Sept 26th v. UL-Monroe
Oct 3rd at Georgia
Oct 10th v. Arkansas
Oct 17th at Texas A&M
Oct 24th v. Tennessee
Oct 31st BYE WEEK
Nov 7th v. LSU
Nov 14th at Mississippi State
Nov 21st v. Charleston Southern
Nov 28th v. Auburn