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NCAA Team Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide are ranked 2nd in the country to start the 2014 season. Last season, the Crimson TIde missed out on a national title run, but they seem poised behind Nick Saban to make a run back to the title game. Remember, this season, the NCAA is going to a four team playoff. That should give the SEC a shot at possibly two teams in with a chance. We are looking forward to the Alabama Crimson Tide’s season, and know they are going to bring some talent to the field, and some excitement to the SEC.

The strength of Alabama will be in their running game, and also in their receiving core. T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry are all guys you will likely see playing in the NFL coming soon. Alabama will feature a ton of guys that will also be in the NFL, so the ground game could be nearly unstoppable. If teams can start figuring out the running game that Nick Saban will send at them, the receiving core of Amari Cooper, DeAndrew White and Christian Jones is one that experts would put at or near the top in the entire nation. Look for the Crimson Tide to utilize tight end O.J. Howard quite a bit as well.

A few concerns the folks in Alabama have with their team is in the quarterback and the kicking game. A.J. McCarron is gone from last years team, and the question will be either Blake Sims or Jacob Coker behind center. Then, after the Iron Bowl of a season ago when the Crimson Tide had all sorts of problems in the kicking game, they will be seeking a kicker.

The Crimson Tide have a pretty solid schedule. While their non-conference is not loaded, they have enough talent on the opposition to keep them on their toes. Alabama opens the season with West Virginia in Atlanta. While the Mountaineers are not a national title favorite, they will provide enough speed and physicality to give Alabama concerns. After that, Saban’s squad will play three straight home games with Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss, followed by the SEC opener against Florida. After that, Alabama is on the road at Ole Miss on October 4th.

The final seven games starts October 11th at Arkansas, followed by a home game with Texas A+M. October 25th, the Crimson Tide will head to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers of Tennessee. November 8th, Alabama will face a tough test when they head out on the road to LSU. The final three games for Alabama will all be at home; with Mississippi State, Western Carolina and Auburn all coming to town.

The schedule has some hiccups in it for sure. The trip to Death Valley will not be easy, and also the trip to Oxford to take on an Ole Miss team that will be sensational will not be a picnic. Look for Alabama to compete at the top, but much like all of the SEC – it will take an incredible season to get through untouched.

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