The Crimson Tide has won six national titles in FBS since 2009 and has made it to the College Football Playoff in seven out of the eight years it’s been in existence.
That’s a dynasty.
So this year, it’s not so much of a question of if, but how Alabama will make it back to the CFP.
People are also reading…
Last year, the Tide won lost just one regular-season game, beat Georgia in the SEC championship, but then lost to the Bulldogs in the national title tilt, finishing the season 13-2.
What will be their win total this year?
DraftKings has it set at 10.5, with the odds favoring the over at -265. Under 10.5 wins is +210.
FrontPageBets breaks down Alabama’s 2022 schedule with key games and storylines shaping their road to a championship.
It’s been well documented what Alabama returns this year. Not only do they have Nick Saban -- the best coach in the history of college football -- back for his 15th season in Tuscaloosa, they also return the defending Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Bryce Young.
Young leads one of the most potentially dangerous offenses in the country that picked up some threats through the transfer portal this season to replace playmakers who went on to the NFL.
Former NFL head coach Bill O’Brien is back for his second year as the Tide’s offensive coordinator, which adds to the comfortability of Young and Co. The defense boasts perhaps the best defensive player in the country in Will Anderson, who had 17.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss in 2021.
Alabama will need that leadership and experience right off the bat, as it faces Texas in Austin in Week 2, on Sept. 10.
We’ll find out real quick how good Alabama is with that trip to play the Longhorns, who are hoping to make some noise in the Big 12 before they jump to the SEC in 2023.
Week 2 at Texas will test Alabama right out of the gate and answer some early questions, including how this team will play on the road. Which is an important one, considering the Crimson Tide will play some tough road games this season outside of the trip to Austin. They also travel to Arkansas, Tennessee and Ole Miss.
But the crux of Alabama’s SEC schedule will be played at home in Bryant-Denny Stadium, where the Tide are 89-5 since 2008.
This year, Alabama has SEC games against Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn at home. And anytime you can play your rival at home is a bonus, especially against Auburn in the Iron Bowl -- where we’ve seen anything, and I mean anything, can happen.
Still, even with all the talent and potential in the world, it's still extremely tough to run the table in the SEC. Alabama gets more than 10 wins, but will fall in at least one conference game, keeping them from a perfect regular season. However, the Tide will still be in position to play for a conference and national title. Again.
Key games to determining the O/U: Texas, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
As commissioner Greg Sankey said in his opening remarks at the conference’s media days earlier this week, the SEC is a “super league.” Who will win it?
Alabama at Texas, Sept. 10
The last time these two schools played each other was in the BCS National Championship game of the 2009 season, where Alabama won 37-21. It was Saban’s first national title at Alabama.
Fast-forward 12 seasons and these programs have gone in opposite directions. Alabama continued to climb, winning five more national championships, while Texas has had its fits and starts, going 83-67 and changing coaches three times.
Current coach Steve Sarkisian, who was the offensive coordinator at Alabama before being hired by Texas, enters his second year with the Longhorns, who finished 5-7 last season. Texas will be led on offense by running back Bijan Robinson, who is getting some Heisman hype. Robinson played in 10 games last season averaging 5.78 yards per carry before an injury ended his sophomore campaign. He had 15 all-purpose touchdowns as well. Ohio State transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers will look to settle in as well.
Vs. Texas A&M, Oct. 8
This game has been circled on Alabama’s calendar since Oct. 9, 2021, after losing to the Aggies in College Station, 41-38. And as if that wasn’t enough, throw in the offseason NIL feud between Saban and A&M coach Jimbo Fisher to make this one extra spicy.
Texas A&M will be the only SEC West team to push Alabama for a spot in the conference title game, as the Aggies bring in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation as well as LSU transfer quarterback Max Johnson.
At Tennessee, Oct. 15
The last time Tennessee beat Alabama was in Knoxville on Oct. 21, 2006. Since then, the Tide have won 15 straight over the Vols.
What would it take for Tennessee to break that streak this year? Solid quarterback play, an offense that can score and a defense that may bend but can’t break?
This year, the Vols might have all of those pieces, starting with quarterback Hendon Hooker who threw for nearly 3,000 yards last year and 31 touchdowns against just three interceptions. Coach Josh Heupel tuned up the offense to put UT at No. 7 in the nation in points per game with 39.3. The defense, which struggled to get off the field on third downs last season, has been an emphasis all offseason.
Could this be the year for Tennessee?
Alabama’s 2022 regular-season schedule breakdown
Sept. 3 vs. Utah State: W
Sept. 10 at Texas: W
Sept. 17 vs. UL Monroe: W
Sept. 24 vs. Vanderbilt: W
Oct. 1 at Arkansas: W
Oct. 8 vs. Texas A&M: W
Oct. 15 at Tennessee: L
Oct. 22 vs. Mississippi State: W
Nov. 5 at LSU: W
Nov. 12 at Ole Miss: W
Nov. 19 vs. Austin Peay: W
Nov. 26 vs. Auburn: W
Mike Szvetitz is the General Manager and Content Director for FrontPageBets.com. Szvetitz is a 22-year veteran reporter and editor, including serving 17 years as a sports editor in Florida, Alabama and Virginia, covering everything from preps to pros. His "View From The Lazy Boy" column won multiple state and national awards. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.