Alabama Football: A mostly serious look at the toughest 2018 opponents

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football poised for another CFB PLayoff run
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Let’s take a mostly serious look at the toughest teams Alabama football will or might face in 2018, including post-season opponents.

It is never too early to start gauging the difficulty of another Alabama football championship run. Yes, we are presuming there will be another championship run. And given the past 9 seasons, why wouldn’t we?

The list includes the ten opponents that could most challenge the Tide in the 2018 season. Only five of the 10 are regular season opponents. The other five are potential post-season opponents in the SEC Championship game and the CFB Playoff.

Following a standard of counting down from No. 10 to No. 1 implies more certainty in the picks than they deserve. By necessity, we make many assumptions about the teams while assigning their future merits. The effort is described as ‘mostly’ serious because we must admit the folly of all such early predictions. So here’s our best guess of what will happen in 2018. No matter how flawed, it should surpass the accuracy of NFL mock drafts.

No. 10 – Louisville

Louisville makes the top ten list almost solely on the basis of the offensive mind of Bobby Petrino. Petrino is still one of the best offensive scheme coaches in college football. He will have an opportunity to test an inexperienced and unproven Crimson Tide secondary in the season-opener.

Bobby’s problem is his quarterback will be even less experienced than the Tide secondary. Lamar Jackson’s backup, Jawon Pass threw just 33 passes in 2017. The other Louisville QB’s are true freshmen and walk-ons. Petrino’s problems go deeper than losing Lamar Jackson. The 2017 Cardinals’ defense was weak against the pass and that unit’s two best players are also gone, CB Jaire Alexander and LB Trevon Young. Louisville added top JUCO safety Marlon Character Jr. to help shore up the porous pass defense.

Prediction: Jawon Pass will struggle against the Tide’s pass rush. Unless Saban mandates a vanilla offense the game could be a blowout.