Biggest hurdles in 2021 season?

TRU

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It seems to me that many of the Tide's traditionally tough opponents are suffering from self inflected wounds. LSU is suffering from high churn in the coaching staff and in their players. Auburn has a young coach who has no SEC experience and is in for a very rude awakening. And Tennessee.....

So which opponents for next year look to be the most challenging? I do not think Miami is going to be much of a challenge. But I am concerned about Florida and aTm. And Lane Kiffin does worry me. He seems to be really good at producing a game plan that gives Bama's defense fits. He got Bama into a shootout last year and almost won against CNS when he was with the Viles. If he ever got a decent defense, he could turn into a real problem.
 

deliveryman35

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Jul 26, 2003
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Probably Florida in the swamp, for opponents. For some reason the aggies just don’t instill any fear in me.

After having two consecutive, heisman-worthy qb’s, the O and to a greater degree QB development are what I see as the biggest challenges for next season. I think our D will exceed expectation.
 

bamaslammer

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Jan 8, 2003
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The offense has to grow up fast. The Sept 18th trip to the swamp looks like a perfect revenge scenario for the Gators. Then Oct starts with the fighting Lane Kiffens and Texas A&M. If we don't learn to put drives together and produce in the red zone we could literally lose all three of those games. Our defense will be more experienced than we've seen in the last few years but no defense can shut down modern offenses when they are operating well.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Nov 8, 2004
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I see two units jelling, and development of one position group as the biggest hurdles:

1. The coaching staff with 5 new on-field coaches and a bunch of new analysts, will need to jell..
2. Likewise, the OL, especially having to replace the physical and emotional leader Dickerson.
3. Development of the WR group. We’re hopelessly spoiled there, and it’s just not realistic to think Metchie and two guys in their first true, no-foolin’ bullets-flying duty can possibly be as effective as Smitty, Waddle, and Metchie.

New OC. New QB. Lots of new OL and WRs. The offense just about has to take a step back, especially early in the year.

Good news is (1) we’re incredibly talented, and as that talent gains experience, we’ll get progressively better, (2) the defense returns a lot of talented, experienced guys and should be materially improved.
 

Tideflyer

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I see two units jelling, and development of one position group as the biggest hurdles:

1. The coaching staff with 5 new on-field coaches and a bunch of new analysts, will need to jell..
2. Likewise, the OL, especially having to replace the physical and emotional leader Dickerson.
3. Development of the WR group. We’re hopelessly spoiled there, and it’s just not realistic to think Metchie and two guys in their first true, no-foolin’ bullets-flying duty can possibly be as effective as Smitty, Waddle, and Metchie.

New OC. New QB. Lots of new OL and WRs. The offense just about has to take a step back, especially early in the year.

Good news is (1) we’re incredibly talented, and as that talent gains experience, we’ll get progressively better, (2) the defense returns a lot of talented, experienced guys and should be materially improved.
I agree. The D may be in the old " Hold on till help comes " mode!
 

81usaf92

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Apr 26, 2008
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I see two units jelling, and development of one position group as the biggest hurdles:

1. The coaching staff with 5 new on-field coaches and a bunch of new analysts, will need to jell..
2. Likewise, the OL, especially having to replace the physical and emotional leader Dickerson.
3. Development of the WR group. We’re hopelessly spoiled there, and it’s just not realistic to think Metchie and two guys in their first true, no-foolin’ bullets-flying duty can possibly be as effective as Smitty, Waddle, and Metchie.

New OC. New QB. Lots of new OL and WRs. The offense just about has to take a step back, especially early in the year.

Good news is (1) we’re incredibly talented, and as that talent gains experience, we’ll get progressively better, (2) the defense returns a lot of talented, experienced guys and should be materially improved.
For #3, we heard the same thing in 2015 and 2017. Alabama is loaded at receiver and most of the underclass men who didn’t start could’ve been starting at most P5 schools.
 
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81usaf92

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It seems to me that many of the Tide's traditionally tough opponents are suffering from self inflected wounds. LSU is suffering from high churn in the coaching staff and in their players. Auburn has a young coach who has no SEC experience and is in for a very rude awakening. And Tennessee.....

So which opponents for next year look to be the most challenging? I do not think Miami is going to be much of a challenge. But I am concerned about Florida and aTm. And Lane Kiffin does worry me. He seems to be really good at producing a game plan that gives Bama's defense fits. He got Bama into a shootout last year and almost won against CNS when he was with the Viles. If he ever got a decent defense, he could turn into a real problem.
Honestly I see Auburn as being our toughest challenge.

LSU is a train wreck, aTm is probably a few years away, and Florida has lost a massive amount of talent. I don’t think Kiffin has the defense yet, but the offense could give us fits if we are looking ahead.

That really leaves Auburn at JHS. While I’m not high on Harsin I think Auburn is a decent team coming back, and they play us way tougher at home. I don’t see us losing but I have a feeling we might play vanilla looking forward to the following week that is probably Georgia.
 

4Q Basket Case

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Regarding the regular season schedule, I see Ole Miss and Auburn as the bottlenecks.

Ole Miss has a fine coach (a sorry excuse for a human being, but a fine coach), and he's gunning for us 60/60/24/365. This fall, even though the game is in Tuscaloosa in the fifth week of the season, OM has the previous week off, and patsies leading up to that:

Louisville on Monday, 9/6,
Austin Peay on Saturday, 9/11,
Tulane Saturday, 9/18.
Off 9/25.
at Alabama 10/2

Look....I know Lane Kiffin is a lot of nasty things. But if you keep him between the lines of coaching, he's undeniably good.

Think he'll use the entire offseason, preseason camp, and the first four weeks of the season preparing for us? Given that high school schedule, and a judiciously-timed off week leading into 10/2, I do.

Kiffin wants nothing in this world so much as to be the first former assistant to beat Saban. As long as he's in Oxford, he and his teams will be threats to Alabama.

Having said all that, I think the easiest money of the season will be a bet on Arkansas the following week against OM, no matter who is favored or what the point spread is. After that 9-month build-up (and that's exactly what it will be), win or lose, there's no way OM will recover from the emotional effects of that game in seven days. The Piggies will eat, or at worst cover, on 10/9.

And weird stuff happens at the barn, invariably favoring the home team. Down there, you just never know. Bad, bad juju.

If we survive all that, (I'm thinking one loss somewhere along the way), we face Georgia. Which should be a different team from the one we played in 2020.

Of course, they always say that.
 
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PA Tide Fan

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Dec 11, 2014
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I pretty much agree with what many have said. Assuming the stadiums are at full capacity Florida @ the Swamp is the first big test for Bryce Young in front of a hostile crowd. ( I don't consider Atlanta hostile) If he gets rattled it's possible to lose but if we play anything close to our A game we leave with a win. Ole Miss, even at home will be interesting since Kiffin probably understands the Bama schemes as well as anyone. TAMU could if tough if A&M finds a decent replacement for Mond but I doubt they will this season. They could take a step back. The one good thing about Auburn @JHS is that it's the last game, so hopefully we have the SECW wrapped up by then and the game ends up being just for braggin' rights so if something crazy happens there it won't keep us from the SECCG.

I think the season depends on how healthy we stay and how fast the OL gels. If the OL becomes dominant quickly then Young should have plenty of time to find the open receiver even if the WR's are not quite up to par with the WR's of recent seasons.
 

81usaf92

Hall of Fame
Apr 26, 2008
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Regarding the regular season schedule, I see Ole Miss and Auburn as the bottlenecks.

Ole Miss has a fine coach (a sorry excuse for a human being, but a fine coach), and he's gunning for us 60/60/24/365. This fall, even though the game is in Tuscaloosa in the fifth week of the season, OM has the previous week off, and patsies leading up to that:

Louisville on Monday, 9/6,
Austin Peay on Saturday, 9/11,
Tulane Saturday, 9/18.
Off 9/25.
at Alabama 10/2

Look....I know Lane Kiffin is a lot of nasty things. But if you keep him between the lines of coaching, he's undeniably good.

Think he'll use the entire offseason, preseason camp, and the first four weeks of the season preparing for us? Given that high school schedule, and a judiciously-timed off week leading into 10/2, I do.

Kiffin wants nothing in this world so much as to be the first former assistant to beat Saban. As long as he's in Oxford, he and his teams will be threats to Alabama.

Having said all that, I think the easiest money of the season will be a bet on Arkansas the following week against OM, no matter who is favored or what the point spread is. After that 9-month build-up (and that's exactly what it will be), win or lose, there's no way OM will recover from the emotional effects of that game in seven days. The Piggies will eat, or at worst cover, on 10/9.

And weird stuff happens at the barn, invariably favoring the home team. Down there, you just never know. Bad, bad juju.

If we survive all that, (I'm thinking one loss somewhere along the way), we face Georgia. Which should be a different team from the one we played in 2020.

Of course, they always say that.
I think Georgia may have peaked as a program. Yes they think they have found their man in JT Daniels, and yes they probably are going to win the East and donkey punch Karen in game 1, but at some point you have to wonder if they couldn’t finish the deal these last 3 years will they ever. I’m still not sold on JT Daniels, he seems like a poor man’s Ian Book. I also think Kirby is way to stubborn to change the formula and commit to passing the ball, and playing modern football.

If I were to guess our record then I would still say 12-0 going into Atlanta. Since 2015 it’s taken truly exceptional teams to beat us during the regular season. The worst team that beat us was 2019 Auburn and that was an above average team that we scored 40+ on. Right now I just don’t see one quarterback that is really that guy except Ole Miss’s quarterback. But it’s at home and they still don’t have a defense.

maybe we drop one but it’s going to be Auburn or aTm. Florida has just lost too much and Emory Jones just doesn’t seem like the guy.
 

Redwood Forrest

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Very good comments. I agree with most everything except the sense we only have Auburn and Georgia to worry about. On paper Auburn, and LSU can upset us and aTm and both Mississippi's can give us a scare. There is Georgia and Florida and Miami. On paper only Georgia has a good chance but our team must get the same determination that last year's team had. I am not taking Miami or aTm for granted.
 
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81usaf92

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Very good comments. I agree with most everything except the sense we only have Auburn and Georgia to worry about. On paper Auburn, and LSU can upset us and aTm and both Mississippi's can give us a scare. There is Georgia and Florida and Miami. On paper only Georgia has a good chance but our team must get the same determination that last year's team had. I am not taking Miami or aTm for granted.
Idk. Georgia seems to still be the team lost in time. I don’t think they are close to coming back to the future.
 
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uafanataum

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Idk. Georgia seems to still be the team lost in time. I don’t think they are close to coming back to the future.
I was listening to sports radio on my way home Thursday night and they think UGA offense will be greatly improved this year. They say JT will be much better this year and they believe Kirby lets the offensive coordinator run the offense this year.
 

deliveryman35

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Honestly I see Auburn as being our toughest challenge.

LSU is a train wreck, aTm is probably a few years away, and Florida has lost a massive amount of talent. I don’t think Kiffin has the defense yet, but the offense could give us fits if we are looking ahead.

That really leaves Auburn at JHS. While I’m not high on Harsin I think Auburn is a decent team coming back, and they play us way tougher at home. I don’t see us losing but I have a feeling we might play vanilla looking forward to the following week that is probably Georgia.
Saban is 3-4 at jhs while at Alabama. I agree that the talent disparity should be greatly in our favor this coming season and we should be the clear favorite in that game, but the simple fact is they are not intimidated by us, especially when playing down there.
 

81usaf92

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I was listening to sports radio on my way home Thursday night and they think UGA offense will be greatly improved this year. They say JT will be much better this year and they believe Kirby lets the offensive coordinator run the offense this year.
Again I’m just not sold on JT Daniels or Kirby’s willingness to let go. I don’t think they have hit the Lane Kiffin phase of their progression to the modern world.

But then again I wasn’t sold on Burrow after one year. But I don’t know anyone that saw Joe Brady coming either.
 
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