We know Nick Saban will never look ahead to a future opponent, but we have the luxury of being able to. In this case, looking ahead to the Tide’s Week 2 opponent is more than warranted. Texas A&M was supposed to be a late-season opponent for Alabama football, but in the new schedule, they are moved to Week 2.
Week 2 is typically the week where teams show the most improvement from the previous week. All of the cobwebs are knocked off and all of the young first-time starters have an idea of what to expect. A large amount of growth can be expected for Alabama football from Week 1 to Week 2, especially in the secondary.
It will be needed against Texas A&M. Prior to the changes to the schedule, I had pegged Texas A&M to be Alabama’s toughest SEC opponent all season. That included Georgia, LSU, Auburn, and Florida (had Florida made it to the SEC Championship). The Aggies get even tougher under this new format in my opinion.
As I previously mentioned, experience will be even more important in this season than it typically is given the situation. Texas A&M will be one of the most experienced teams in the nation going into 2020. They returned most of their impact players from a good 2019 team. Texas A&M in 2019 was better than their record indicated. They were a victim of their own schedule.
Texas A&M has all the tools necessary to give Alabama a battle. The only negative for TAMU is the recent announcement their top returning WR, Jhamon Ausbon, would be opting out of the 2020 season. It is a big blow to the Aggie offense but not an insurmountable one. They have the talent around the field and a very good Senior QB in Kellen Mond to make up for the loss.
I won’t dig too deep into the Texas A&M game but suffice it to say, I believe this game will be a back and forth affair that isn’t decided until late.
As far as the Missouri game I don’t think it will be particularly close. I don’t think the Missouri offense has enough firepower to overcome a rejuvenated and hungry Alabama football defense. Their defense may keep them in the game for a while, but the repetitive crashing of Alabama’s running game wears them down and they eventually fall apart.
Be sure to check out my colleague, Ronald Moody’s, breakdown of the Missouri game and stay tuned to Bama Hammer for week-to-week game breakdowns just like this all season long.