Game-By-Game Predictions for Alabama's 2014 Season
With a spot in the SEC title game on the line, Auburn's Chris Davis returned a missed field goal the length of the field to ruin Alabama's perfect season and miraculously send the Tigers to the SEC championship with a national title game appearance on the line.
The Crimson Tide then followed that up with a Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma, leaving many to worry about the effects of on the Auburn loss on this team moving forward.
While it won't be possible to completely forget the memory of the shocking loss on the Plains, the Tide will turn the page and attempt to make another push at a national championship.
Of course, it'll have to do it without one of the most successful quarterbacks in college football history in A.J. McCarron. With McCarron off to the NFL, the transition may not be all that easy since Alabama's options are limited. Blake Sims struggled in the Tide's spring game, leaving many to believe that Florida State transfer Jacob Coker will be the solution.
One thing's for sure -- Alabama must have a consistent leader at quarterback if it wants to compete with Auburn in the SEC West.
Will Saban's squad have what it takes to make it to the first-ever college football playoff? Let's run through the schedule and make predictions as to how things will shake out in Tuscaloosa.
8/30/14 - vs. West Virginia (WIN)
This game should tell us a lot about where Alabama stands at the quarterback position. Don't expect it to be pretty, Crimson Tide fans, but a win is pretty much guaranteed.
9/6/14 - vs. Florida Atlantic (WIN)
Games like this are needed when you are transitioning at key positions. Both sides of the ball should get some good work in here.
9/13/14 - vs. Southern Miss (WIN)
After starting the season with an 11-game losing streak, the Golden Eagles broke through with a monstrous 62-27 victory over UAB. Will Southern Miss make it two straight? Um, not quite. Bama rolls in impressive fashion.
9/20/14 - vs. Florida (WIN)
If there's a positive for the Gators, it's that they didn't have to make this trip last year when they were getting blown out left and right. This game should be competitive since Florida will be much-improved, but it's hard to see Bama losing this game at home.
10/4/14 - at Ole Miss (WIN)
Count on this being one of the best games in the SEC next season. The Rebels will be hungry for a signature win, and that should make for a very intriguing game from start to finish. Coker leads his first major late-game drive to give the Tide a close win in Oxford.
10/11/14 - at Arkansas (WIN)
Alabama won this game 52-0 last season, so hopefully the Razorbacks have learned a few things from that beating. Arkansas may be better in 2014, but it may not culminate in many more victories. Especially not against the Crimson Tide.
10/18/14 - vs. Texas A&M (WIN)
We won't see the same type of hype entering this game that we've seen in recent years. With no McCarron vs. Johnny Manziel battle, Bama/A&M loses a bit of its luster. The Aggies will take a step back this year, giving Alabama a comfortable home victory.
10/25/14 - at Tennessee (WIN)
Watch this game very closely. If Tennessee can get its own quarterback situation straightened out, the Vols have the overall talent to make this interesting. But Butch Jones' team may still be a little behind a team like Alabama.
11/8/14 - at LSU (WIN)
The Tide beat the Tigers comfortably a season ago, but expect this game to be much closer since its in Baton Rouge. There's a good chance that LSU will struggle a bit on offense next season due to having to make key transitions at quarterback and wide receiver. This will be your typical Bama/LSU slugfest, and Saban's squad finds a way to move to 9-0.
11/15/14 - vs. Mississippi State (WIN)
Mississippi State's defense did a fine job against Alabama last season, but the offense couldn't do the same. Dak Prescott will lead an outstanding Bulldog attack this year, however, unfortunately for Mississippi State, this game falls in Tuscaloosa. If it was in Starkville, the result may be different.
11/22/14 - vs. Western Carolina (WIN)
Can Alabama knock off the mighty Catamounts before its showdown with rival Auburn the following week? Yes, yes they can.
11/29/14 - vs. Auburn (WIN)
Should Alabama get to this game undefeated like we think they will, there's a great chance that it'll play a one-loss Auburn team (thank Georgia for that) with a trip the SEC title game on the line. Sound familiar?
A few weeks ago, I was convinced that Auburn would win the West. But after dissecting the schedules again, although Auburn may be the better team overall, Alabama is in a much better position to arrive at this game in the SEC West driver's seat. The big question is whether or not the Bama defense will be able to slow down Heisman contender Nick Marshall. I think that it will, giving the Crimson Tide the perfect season and yet another SEC West title.
Alabama 2014 Projected Record: 12-0 (8-0)
How do you see Alabama faring in 2014? Can it run the table and go undefeated? Let us know your game-by-game predictions for the Crimson Tide by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!