An early preview of the opening game between second-ranked Alabama football and the upstart Missouri Tigers.
In eleven days, Alabama football returns. The big question is can the Crimson Tide return to the summit of college football.
Six weeks of practice and two scrimmages have readied the team during the COVID-19 pandemic shortened season. Right out the gate, the Crimson Tide faces off against an SEC foe, the Missouri Tigers, in week one of SEC play.
Seeking redemption for failing to achieve lofty aspirations, Alabama strives to remain affixed atop the polls and bring home an eighteenth national title. College teams, going 11-2 and finishing eighth in the national polls, are normally rewarded with celebrations. Not the Alabama Crimson Tide. In Tuscaloosa, 2019 was an utter disappointment. Haunting losses to rivals LSU and Auburn added to extended off-season dismay over a first-time miss in the CFB Playoff field. Thankfully, 2020 is a new season.
"We now have to have a sense of urgency to get ready for the season. We’ll actually start that when we get back to practice on Tuesday in terms of early opponents and start to get ready for our first game."
Talentwise, this is one of Saban’s more talented Alabama football teams. Unfortunately, talent alone is not enough. Leaders are needed. The “want to dominate your opponent” is needed. A will to win is needed. Lastly, a sense of urgency is needed.
The first test to see if these championship attributes are present is against the Missouri Tigers with their new head coach. Barry Odom was dismissed after an abysmal 6-6 record and replaced by a Gus Malzahn protégé, Eliah Drinkwitz.
The following week, Saban squares off against his former protege, Jimbo Fisher, in Tuscaloosa. Texas A&M is led by senior Kellen Mond, as the Aggies look to topple the Crimson Tide. Their top wideout, Jhamon Ausbon, opted out of the season Sunday.
Saban is the right coach to lead this team through all the hurdles needed to reenter the College Football Playoff. The reemergence of the defense is key to returning to superiority.