What are the toughest games on the Alabama football schedule? Ranked from easiest to hardest, here are how important each of the Crimson Tide’s games are.
What’s Alabama going to do this season? The bar is always set at national title or bust, but there’s so much turnover and so many landmines to sidestep, that might be a tough ask – even for a Nick Saban team. Two losses are all it’ll take to knock the Tide out of the CFP hunt. Can it happen with this slate?
12. Nov. 19 Chattanooga
Nick Saban already angry at questioning whether or not the Mocs can pull off the win.
11. Sept. 24 Kent State
Saban faces his alma mater. The Golden Flashes have a defense that’ll make him proud, but there’s no offense whatsoever.
10. Sept. 10 WKU
This should be a nice test for the Alabama defense against a high-powered Hilltopper attack. WKU has too many replacements to make to have any dream shot against a Tide team looking forward to Ole Miss, but the defending Conference USA champ will still be dangerous.
9. Oct. 1 at Kentucky
1997 was the last time the Wildcats won in the series, with Bama winning six straight. This is the best team yet under Mark Stoops, but it won’t matter.
8. Oct. 22 Texas A&M
The national game of the year just a few seasons ago, it still might be if the Alabama defense has a 2014 Sugar Bowl relapse against Trevor Knight.
7. Nov. 12 Mississippi State
This always seems like the type of game Alabama should worry about, but it hasn’t lost to the Bulldogs since Nick Saban first got started in 2007. However, the Tide are coming off a road game against LSU.
6. Nov. 26 Auburn
The Tigers will come up with a better season than most will predict, and they’ll get to come into Iron Bowl as a possible spoiler if the Crimson Tide muster the wins needed in the top four toughest games. This game always matters no what the records say – and all the other clichés – but there’s a good chance this is just for bragging rights if LSU is as good as LSU should be.
5. Sept. 3 USC
Alabama usually makes mincemeat out of the brand name schools it faces to start out seasons, although USC normally does that, too. The Trojans might not have the team Bama does, but they’ve got more than enough playmakers – and more than enough attitude – to make this as good as any of the amazing Week 1 games.
4. Sept. 17 at Ole Miss
It’s just early enough in the season that Ole Miss won’t have all the pieces in place quite yet. Of course, Alabama has to come up with its share of replacements, too, but after losing two straight to the Rebels, this will be a revenge game of the highest-order. Still, starting out the SEC campaign on the road in Oxford isn’t fun.
3. Oct. 15 at Tennessee
It’s not as important as the key SEC West games, but dealing with the – most likely – best team in the East will be a statement moment for both. This is the third SEC road game in the first four conference dates, and making this that much harder, it’s coming off of …
2. Oct. 8 at Arkansas
Last year’s Alabama team started to wear down by the middle of the season, and this season the bye week is still a few games away. Making matters worse, Arkansas is coming off a scrimmage against Alcorn State. Get ready for a physical slugfest.
1. Nov. 5 at LSU
This is it. This is probably for the whole ball of wax as the true national title game. It’ll be almost impossible for the loser of this to win the SEC West unless a whole slew of weird things happen.