Alabama Football: Ranking the six toughest games in 2020 season

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Future Alabama football opponent
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Alabama Football No. 4 Toughest Game in 2020

Nov. 21 vs. Texas A&M

Will 2020 finally be the season when Jimbo Fisher shows his high-dollar worth? Fisher’s stint as the Aggies head coach has yielded two lackluster seasons. Five losses last season does not indicate a turnaround.

Jimbo brought Mike Elko to College Station to fix persistent Aggies’ defensive weaknesses. So far, not enough has changed. From 2018 to 2019, the Aggies Pass Efficiency Defense improved considerably from No. 106 among FBS teams to No. 26. But the strong Rushing Defense from 2018, at No.3, slid to No. 30. Overall Elko’s defense did improve. The Aggies went from No. 47 in Scoring Defense to No. 37 and No. 32 in Total Defense to No. 29. But in 2019, the Aggies gave up 47 points to the Crimson Tide and 50 to LSU.

For the Aggies to threaten the Crimson Tide, Kellen Mond must live up to his elite potential. Last season Mond improved to over a 60 percent completion rate. He did it despite the Aggie offensive line being No. 13 in the SEC, allowing 34 sacks. Jimbo also brings back his leading rusher and receiver from last season.

The Aggies had the No. 4 signing class in 2019 and No. 6 last year. Fisher needs production out of that group to challenge the Tide.

Some prognosticators have the Aggies coming to Tuscaloosa with nine and maybe 10 wins. With that kind of record, and late in the season, the Crimson Tide will not take them lightly.

Alabama Football No. 3 Toughest Game in 2020

Nov. 28 vs Auburn

The Auburn Tigers are invariably the most difficult team in the SEC to predict. Since Gus Malzahn is no longer considered an offensive Guru, what defines Auburn is inconsistency and winning big games. Over the last six seasons, Auburn has averaged losing 4.8 games per season. But in the last three seasons, the Tigers have beaten Georgia, Washington and Oregon and topped the Tide twice.

Sophomore quarterback, Bo Nix was inconsistent at times last season. But with a big arm, he can make big throws. Three Auburn wide receivers return who can turn Nix’s tosses into explosive plays. The offensive line was good, not great last season. That unit must be rebuilt with just one returning starter. There are also big holes to fill in the defense, particularly in the secondary.

Highly rated, running back, Cartavious Bigsby could star as a freshman. By season end, the Tigers should be fine on offense. How tough they will be in Tuscaloosa depends on how well Kevin Steele rebuilds his defense.

The Tigers might surprise and be stronger in 2020. Still, Gus Malzahn has never won in Tuscaloosa as a head coach.