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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Former Alabama football player, Dabo Swinney
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

No. 2 – Ohio State

Urban Meyer must find a new quarterback starter to replace JT Barrett. Meyer returns two 1,000 yard running backs and an experienced group of wide receivers. The Buckeyes will have to work through some changes on the offensive line. Nick Bosa can have an even larger defensive impact in his Buckeye career than his older brother, Joey.

Urban Meyer will, like Nick Saban, not name a starting quarterback until he must. When he does it is almost certain to be sophomore, Dwayne Haskins. Haskins will quickly become an upgrade over Barrett. Haskins and fellow sophomore running back, JK Dobbins, will put up big numbers in 2018.

The B1G will be tougher to navigate in 2018. Penn State may not be quite as strong but Michigan and Michigan State will be improved. Wisconsin will be predictably very good again. Nobody is likely to run the table in the B1G but neither will it have a two-loss champion. Look for Urban to lead his team to another B1G title.

Prediction: Ohio State returns to the CFB Playoff

No. 1 – Clemson

We have two predictions for Clemson’s 2018 season. First, there will be a quarterback controversy. The issue may not be settled by week one. More than likely Dabo will choose some QB rotation in September. Second, at some point, Kelly Bryant will probably cede the starting role to Hunter Johnson or Trevor Lawrence. Kelly Bryant is good enough for the Tigers to win another ACC championship. The other two may be enough better to win a national championship.

How good will Clemson be on defense? Try returning four All-Americans for a start. Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins will anchor a defensive front that also returns two starting linebackers. Defensive coordinator, Brent Venables has to replace one linebacker and two members of the secondary on a defense ranked fourth-best in college football last season.

The Tigers will win the ACC unless they find some way to beat themselves in a few potentially tight games. They will be and play like a hungry team, looking to follow Nick Saban’s advice about not wasting a failure. If Dabo makes the right decisions, while sorting through QB’s, there is little doubt Clemson will return to the CFB Playoff.

Prediction: Alabama football will face Clemson for another national championship.

Next: Alabama Football, Post-Spring Depth Chart

Our final prediction is a no-brainer. Alabama football will be the favorite to win the 2018 national championship.