2018 Alabama Crimson Tide Remain Team To Beat

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TwinSpires Staff

August 7th, 2018

by DS Williamson
Tua Tagovailoa and Nick Saban shocked the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime of last season’s National Championship to win yet another College Football Title. In what's become an annual tradition, the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide are the favorites to win the SEC and the National Championship again despite losing 11 starters. Are they truthfully the team to beat, or have they lost too much of their championship personnel?

Can Alabama’s defense step it up with 8 new starters? Eight of the 11 starters that departed are on the defensive side. The 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide must replace both cornerbacks and safeties. They must also figure out how to fill the enormous void left by nose tackle Daron Payne. That won’t be easy because Alabama relied on Payne to get the push up front. Payne was so effective that the Washington Redskins drafted him 13th overall.

The secondary, as crazy as it sounds, could be easier to replace. Former LSU Tiger Savion Smith should have no trouble moving right into a starting position. The other corner spot is likely to go to Patrick Surtain Jr, whose father was an excellent cornerback with the Tennessee Titans.

Replacing Payne could be tough, but Saban had to replace A’Shawn Robinson a couple of seasons ago, and he did…with Payne. The point is that Saban always manages to put together a front seven that dominates SEC opponents.

The middle linebacker position got decimated last season. Alabama still managed to recover in time to win the National Championship. Defense is never an issue in Tuscaloosa so the absence of eight starters from last year won't inhibit how effective this unit is moving through the 2018 NCAAF betting campaign.

Alabama’s offense appears set The 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide offense returns two solid quarterbacks in Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, which is both a blessing and a curse. Tagovailoa will most likely get the start once the regular season begins. He threw the pass that shocked the Georgia Bulldogs. However, it's difficult to keep Hurts off the field. Hurts is a talented quarterback who doesn’t turn the ball over. Saban will find a way to utilize Jalen.

It’s a good problem for Saban to have. It’s an even better problem because Alabama returns 4 offensive linemen starters this season. They also return a bevy of running backs, all of which could start, meaning that Saban will find a way to get all of them on the field at some point during the season. In other words, Saban has a ton of options at his disposal making it as difficult as ever for opponents to properly game plan against what he intends to do.

Bama should go undefeated this season Even in the rough and tumble SEC, the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide have a strong chance of ripping through the season undefeated. Their road games are at Ole Miss, at Arkansas, at LSU and at Tennessee. LSU doesn’t appear as tough as they have been in the past while Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Tennessee should have no chance of keeping it close versus the Tide.

The out of conference schedule is close to laughable. It could be a down year for Louisville. Arkansas State and UL-Lafayette are relative jokes. To top of the comedy cake, Alabama plays The Citadel on November 18th.

Once again, the season should come down to the Iron Bowl versus Auburn. Auburn hasn’t beaten Alabama two seasons in a row since 2007-2008. It’s unlikely they do it this season. That means unless a team like Georgia upsets the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship, another trip to the College Football Playoff seems more than likely.