Alabama Football: Some ‘what ifs’ to consider after the NMSU game

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

This dynastic run for Alabama football has been built on a premise it does not matter how good any other team is. But how good is this Alabama Crimson Tide?

Two weeks of Alabama football do not a season make. What lies ahead is a long road to November. Eight weeks and six teams precede a November clash in Tuscaloosa against LSU. There are no guarantees the Crimson Tide will reach that game undefeated. But it should – and no true Alabama football fan is going to expect anything less.

When that six-game run is over, Alabama football should be 8-0 and ranked in the top two in the nation.

There are also no guarantees how good LSU will be by then – or how good Auburn three weeks later – or how good Georgia (or some other team) will be in a SEC Championship game. History tells one or more (or all) will be very good.

It also matters less how good the Tigers, Tigers and Bulldogs become than it does how good the Crimson Tide can become. Nobody understands this better than Nick Saban. Saban has proven Championships are won by teams who measure themselves against an internal standard. A team, being the best it can be, does not need to worry about opponents.

So how good can this Alabama football team become? We can count on a few things. The Crimson Tide has the best quartet of wide receivers in college football. When not trying to do too much, Tua Tagovailoa is exceptional. The secondary is very good, possibly even great. Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis are two of the best outside linebackers in college football. Will Reichard is the best placekicker the Tide has had in a long time.

Then there is the flip-side, the glass is half-empty perspective. The defensive front seven is good but lack of depth may mean it does not become great. The Crimson Tide rushing attack cannot be counted on in 3rd-and-short against top defenses. Offseason claims about an abundance of depth at most position groups may have been considerably overstated.

The season is too young for conclusions. Reasons for optimism exceed doubts of a demise. The eventual tipping point may come down to how good the Alabama football staff does quickly develops less experienced players. A majority of the scholarship roster is populated by first or second year players.

A championship run may hinge on how fast guys like Evan Neal, Will Reichard, Skyler DeLong, Shane Lee, Christian Harris, D.J. Dale and a couple of defensive line youngsters develop.

A guess after two games is probably worthless. So we’ll just say, this may not be a team that can overcome more season-ending injuries to key players. Or it could become one of Nick Saban’s best teams.

Next. Healthy Tua will have a record-breaking season. dark

Of one thing Alabama football fans can be sure. Unlike Michigan, the Crimson Tide is a legit championship contender.