After eight long years, LSU finally snapped a miserable losing streak to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The victory was certainly sweet, and the first half was downright erotic if I can speak candidly.
But you know what Alabama did the last time they lost a football game to LSU? They went on to win four national championships and play for two more. What I’m saying is Alabama didn’t go anywhere after the famous 9-6 game in 2011 and they ain’t going anywhere this time around either.
Alabama Crimson Tide
2019: 11-2 (6-2 SEC), 3rd S&P+
2020 Recruiting Class: 2nd
Head Coach: Nick Saban
Offensive Coordinator: Steve Sarkisian
Defensive Coordinator: Peter Golding
Consider this, in a year where nearly everything went wrong for Alabama, 2019 still resulted in an 11-win season, a New Year’s Day Bowl win, a top-three finish in the final S&P+ and the No. 2 overall recruiting class. And that was a down year for Alabama. They ain’t going anywhere.
At quarterback I’m interested to see what Alabama ends up doing. Redshirt junior Mac Jones impressed after taking over the starting quarterback job from the injured Tua Tagovailoa, completing 69 percent of his passes (nice) for 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns. In the Iron Bowl, Jones threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw two killer interceptions that proved costly in a three-point loss.
If Jones doesn’t prove to be up to the task, Saban has Bryce Young, the No. 1 quarterback prospect in last season’s class, waiting in the wings. Young is 247’s No. 20 overall high school prospect ever. For context, he comes to Alabama rated higher than Myles Garrett did, and is two thousandths of a point behind Adrian Peterson and Leonard Fournette when they both came out of high school. Of course there’s never a sure thing with recruiting, but Young projects as a top-10 pick in the 2023 draft and 247 compares him to Russell Wilson. What I’m saying is the future seems bright for Mr. Young.
Whoever is quarterbacking Alabama, they’ll have a ridiculous amount of talent particularly in the skill position. Najee Harris is back for his senior season. So is DeVonta Smith. And oh by the way, Jaylen Waddle is still on the roster too. Waddle inherits the fastest receiver in America crown from his teammate Henry Ruggs III and is one of the best, most dynamic punt returners in the country. Alabama had two wide receivers go in the first round of April’s Draft, but bring back a pair of future first round picks.
Hey speaking of first rounders, Alabama’s offensive line looks to keep being awesome. Right tackle Jedrick Willis was taken 10th overall in April’s Draft, but there’s a really good chance the Tide will have two more linemen taken in the first round of next year’s Draft. The left side of the Alabama line in particular is stacked, with senior tackle Alex Leatherwood and fifth-year senior guard Denote Brown both projected to be taken in round one next season. The Tide also have a third senior, center Landon Dickerson. You might remember him as the guy who hit Kary Vincent with a cheap shot after Patrick Queen’s interception.
After a “down” year defensively, Alabama ought to be one of the most formidable units in America once again. There’s future first rounders all over that side of the ball for Alabama too, namely draft-eligible sophomore Christian Barmore and emerging pass rushing specialist Christopher Allen. Not for nothing, Alabama also signed the No. 1 and 2 weakside defensive ends in America, Chris Braswell and Drew Sanders, and the No. 8 defensive tackle Timothy Smith.
The Tide also get a huge boost by getting Dylan Moses back for another season. Moses quite possibly could have been a first round pick this past April, but a knee injury in fall camp forced him to miss all of 2019. Joining Moses in the linebacking corp will be Christian Harris, who’s coming off a Freshman All-American campaign. Allen, Moses and Harris, by the way, were all Louisiana prospects. Now, Moses graduated from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, but he was at U-High; Harris finished at U-High and Allen went to Southern Lab. Losing three stud defenders who went to high school mere minutes away from campus to Alabama hurts.
In the secondary, the Tide looks to have another first rounder in Patrick Surtain II. In his career, Surtain has broken up 15 passes, intercepted another three and has forced four fumbles. His 6’2”, 203 pound frame and long arms make him the odds on favorite to be the first corner called in next April’s Draft. Also be on the lookout for Jordan Battle to claim Xavier McKinney’s vacated starting safety spot.
At special teams...who knows! Punter Ty Perine is back, he’s the guy who had the ball hit him in the facemask in last year’s game. Remember that? Hilarious. There’s three other place kickers on Alabama’s roster who frankly I don’t care enough to research but I fully expect one, if not all of three, to miss a crucial kick at some point in the season.
2020 Alabama Schedule
September 5: vs. USC (@ AT&T Stadium)
September 12: vs. Georgia State
September 19: vs. Georgia
September 26: vs. Kent State
October 3: @ Ole Miss
October 10: @ Arkansas
October 17: vs. Mississippi State
October 24: @ Tennessee
October 31: BYE
November 7: @ LSU
November 14: vs. UT-Martin
November 21: vs. Texas A&M
November 28: vs. Auburn