Taking a Look at Alabama Football’s Toughest 2021 Matchups
The SEC has released the schedule for the 2021-22 college football season, and it will not be particularly easy for the Tide as it will look to defend its title and chase a 19th national championship.
Let's take a look at Alabama's toughest tests in the Road to 19.
9/18/21: At Florida:
If this game had been played this season instead of next, it would likely be much more of an early test. As of this moment, the Gators have had nine of their players enter the NFL draft. The biggest losses will be felt on offense with the departure of Heisman candidate, quarterback Kyle Trask. Florida also loses star wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes, as well as superstar tight end and possible top 10 pick Kyle Pitts.
Head coach Dan Mullen will have his work cut out for him in 2021, but a new offense with a running quarterback in Emory Jones should provide a tough early measuring stick for the Crimson Tide defense.
Prediction: Alabama 42 Florida 20
10/2/21: At Texas A&M:
After going 9-4 in 2018 and 8-5 in 2019, it seemed as if things were really beginning to come together for Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies in his third season in College Station. In 2020, Fisher led the Aggies to a 9-1 record with their only loss coming to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. A&M narrowly missed a spot in the College Football Playoff, finishing No. 5 and capping their season off with a dominating Orange Bowl win over North Carolina.
The offensive line for the Aggies will lose multiple starters, and quarterback Kellen Mond has declared for the draft. It remains to be seen who will be under center for A&M next season. They had two talented freshman backing up Mond in 2020 in Haynes King and Zach Calzada, one of whom will likely start for the Aggies in 2021. This is currently arguably the toughest game on Alabama's schedule in 2021, but if Fisher isn't able to continue to build on their 2020 success, it could be another long game for Texas A&M against the Tide.
Prediction: Alabama 35 Texas A&M 24
11/6/21: Home vs. LSU:
It's no secret that Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers took a massive step backwards in 2020 following one of the best seasons in College Football history just a year prior. LSU kicked off their campaign to defend their title with a loss at home to Mississippi State. It didn't get much better from there, as the Tigers followed up their championship triumph with a 5-5 record in 2020. They also lost star freshman tight end Arik Gilbert to the transfer portal, and star wide receiver Terrace Marshall opted out midseason to prepare for the NFL Draft. Freshman QB Max Johnson finished the 2020 season strongly and figures to be the favorite to win the job in 2021 over fellow freshman TJ Finley. If (and this is a HUGE if) LSU can right the ship and return to form this season, this should be a nice early November test at home for the Tide.
Prediction: Alabama 38 LSU 21
11/27/21: At Auburn:
The Auburn Tigers are a team entering a new era in 2021 after firing Gus Malzahn following yet another disappointing season. The Tigers went 6-4 in 2020 and were it not for some help from the refs, they likely would have been .500 or worse. New head coach from Boise State Bryan Harsin will have a difficult task ahead of him in making the Tigers a contender again.
Sophomore QB Bo Nix failed to live up to the hype in 2020, as him and the offense struggled all season with turning the ball over. Nix will likely be the starter again in 2021 and needs to take the next step to keep Auburn competitive next year. It will not get any easier for him, however, as he loses his top target in star wide receiver Seth Williams to the NFL Draft. Harsin will likely struggle in his first season at Auburn, and while a road Iron Bowl is never easy, Auburn will likely have a very difficult time against an experienced Alabama defense.
Prediction: Alabama 42 Auburn 14
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