The Alabama Crimson Tide football team officially kicks off the season in just over one month. But will the defending league champions make it back-to-back SEC titles? Will Alabama make it back to the College Football Playoff, and get the job done this time?
Well, let’s take a look at their schedule. Here are the five things you need to know about it:
1. Many, including ESPN, think that Alabama has the hardest schedule in the nation.
According to ESPN’s FPI, Alabama has the most difficult slate in the country. The Crimson Tide, which plays in the uber-tough SEC West, also has to take on Tennessee and Georgia from the SEC East. Many believe that those may be the two best teams on the other side of the league.
When we ranked schedules back in the winter, we also rated Alabama’s slate as the toughest. If the Tide is going to defend its title and accomplish what we’ve become accustomed to for Nick Saban’s teams, it’s not going to be easy.
2. Alabama opens the season with Big Ten powerhouse Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas.
On top of having to play all of those SEC squads, Alabama, back in 2013, agreed to a game against Wisconsin to open the season. The Badgers are one of the most successful Big Ten schools over the past two decades, so this will not be an easy contest. The game is scheduled for September 5. It’s called the AdvoCare Classic, and it’ll be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The matchup, which will air on ABC, is only the second between the two schools in their history. The winner will likely rise up the polls.
— Cotton Bowl Classic (@CottonBowlGame) July 15, 2015
3. Alabama’s SEC opener is against Ole Miss on September 19.
Last year, Alabama won the SEC West, but did lose one game in-conference. The Tide went to Ole Miss and lost in the game’s final few minutes on an interception thrown by then-quarterback Blake Sims. As you’d imagine, Ole Miss fans celebrated like crazy. This year, Bama wants payback.
Alabama should be fresh after taking on Middle Tennessee State the week prior. The matchup will air on ESPN at 9:15 PM ET.
Number one game of 2014 according to SEC Network? Ole Miss beats Alabama! pic.twitter.com/pZbZ1ZNZhI
— Brandi Ratliff (@SouthrnGrlRebel) July 25, 2015
4. Alabama’s two biggest games are actually on the road.
Alabama will need to win a number of tough games this year, but it’s no secret that matchups with Georgia and arch-rival Auburn are the most important. Unfortunately for the Tide, both are on the road. The Bulldogs get Alabama ‘Between the Hedges’ on October 3, while Auburn gets a visit from the Tide in its regular season finale on November 28.
We don’t have to remind you about the last time Alabama traveled to Auburn
2013 Iron Bowl ending HIGH DEFINITION Auburn beats Alabama https://t.co/UIy6C8xDRV
— Danny (@droseIV) July 19, 2015
5. Alabama has finished either first or second in the SEC West every year since 2011.
At the end of the day, despite a seemingly impossible schedule, we expect Alabama to be right there when it comes to competing for an SEC title. The Crimson Tide have been remarkably consistent since head coach Nick Saban took over, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they ran the table – even if they aren’t sure who is going to play quarterback yet.
Alabama’s season starts on September 5. Don’t worry, fans. You’ll soon be seeing football scores scrolling across the ticker on your television.