Thursday, October 17, 2013

Will Anyone Be Able to Dethrone the Alabama Crimson Tide this Year?

Although there are still quite a few undefeated schools at this midpoint in the college football season, there is one university that stands head and shoulders above all the others: Alabama.  The Alabama Crimson Tide has won the last two BCS National Championships and looks just as capable of winning it again this year.  While some people predicted that the team would suffer after losing 9 key players to the NFL Draft, including the majority of their offensive line, the team just keeps rolling along with big victories.

Although Alabama plays in the dreaded SEC, their schedule is looking quite soft.  If they can win a major matchup against LSU in a couple weeks, and win the SEC Championship in December, Alabama will likely be headed to another BCS National title game.  And who would possibly be talented enough to stop this team from a third straight title?

Oregon looks capable offensively, but everyone knows what typically happens when they go up against a legitimate SEC defense.  Clemson is a strong team, but we’ve all witnessed their slip-ups against minor colleges.  Ohio State may return to the title game as well, though I still don’t see them as really being able to beat the Crimson Tide.  Nick Saban has instituted a program that is unstoppable.

Losing leading running back Eddie Lacy was supposed to cause a disruption in the team’s offense.  Enter TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, and Jalston Fowler.  The defensive backfield was supposed to become problematic following Dee Milliner’s departure to the NFL.  Well, now safety Vinnie Sunseri sparks fear into opposing quarterbacks, having returned 2 interceptions for touchdowns, including a game-clincher from Johnny Manziel.

The team simply reloads every year, and their coaches get every recruit trained to the fullest of their capabilities, making Alabama the most fearsome and talented college football team in America.  And after so much success, teams now legitimately fear this team, which further adds to their strength.  They play with confidence and dominance, and haven’t been challenged since their thriller against Texas A&M.
Looking ahead, their schedule really is quite soft.  Perhaps the game at Auburn to close out the season could be a potential slip-up, but I would be greatly surprised.

Another factor going in the team’s favor is the leadership under senior quarterback AJ McCarron.  While some critics point to the fact that the talent around him boosts his stats, McCarron has done everything that has been asked of him and makes very few mistakes.  He can make all the necessary throws and is surely going to be given an opportunity in the NFL.

Therefore, I really don’t think anyone is capable of dethroning Alabama this year.  But I could be wrong.  College football is all about strange upsets, and the team might even fall to Arkansas this week.  But this is where Saban’s coaching comes in to play.  Alabama players always come into games focused and ready to win, no matter who is the opponent.  They never seem to slip up against the teams they should beat, and their success stems from this intensity.  Something tells me Alabama might just be celebrating another National Championship at the end of this season yet again.

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