5 Reasons Alabama Football Will Be Back in 2014


Nov 30, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban reacts during the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium. Auburn Tigers won 34-28.   John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide have one more game in the 2013 season, but fans are already looking ahead to the next season. Reading the headline of this piece begs the question, ‘When did they leave?’

Fair point.

However, Alabama’s departure from the BCS National Championship game at the hands of the Auburn Tigers leads us to look ahead to 2014.  Is this the end of a dynasty? Or is 2013 another bump in the road that will be used for future motivation?  Here are five reasons why Alabama will be involved in the national championship race again in 2014.


I can hear the conspiracy theories now. Alabama is set up with another manageable slate in 2014. The most challenging non-conference game for the Tide will be its first; a trip to Atlanta to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Alabama does add a beleaguered Florida to its conference schedule. Road games against LSU and Ole Miss will be tests, but Auburn comes to Tuscaloosa the last Saturday in November. Overall, the schedule sets up well for the Crimson Tide.

 Returning Talent

There are no two ways about it; the cupboard is full in Tuscaloosa. Offensively, most of the skill players will be back, including Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon among others. The offensive line should be solid under second-year position coach Mario Cristobal. Quarterback will be the big question coming out of spring practice, but remember that the last two first-time starting quarterbacks for Alabama (Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron) went to win a national championship in that same year.  Defensively, the Tide is reloading, and veterans like Trey Depriest (if he stays in school) will lead a talented group. Budding stars, such as A’Shawn Robinson and Landon Collins, will make life difficult for opposing offenses.


Signing Day is not here yet, but fans are already excited at the prospects committed to come to the Capstone.  Recruiting is an inexact science, but the class being put together on paper this year is astonishing.  Players like Cameron Robinson and Da’Shawn Hand will offer immediate help at the line of scrimmage.  The next great quarterback may also be in this class in David Cornwell.  And they are not done yet.

League Decline 

It may be blasphemous to say, but many this year were proclaiming this a “down year” for the SEC.  That assertion may be over-exaggerated, but there is no doubt the league is in transition; just ask Jesse Palmer.  He infamously stated that Mississippi State has a decent chance of being the 2014 SEC West Champions.  While I may not agree with that statement, his rationale is sound.  Many teams, including Alabama, will lose their quarterback.  A record number of juniors may declare for the NFL Draft.  With all of that being said, though, Alabama is the most equipped of any team to deal with these types of losses simply because they have done it in the past.


No one can argue that Nick Saban is the best the college game has to offer.  Anyone who follows him understands that he will use 2013 as a learning tool.  Just when you thought he was running out of challenges, 2013 occurred, and no matter how small it may seem to some, the obsession of winning big again will motivate him, and his team, this offseason.

Am I predicting a national championship in 2014?  No.

Would I bet against it?

Not a chance.