Alabama Football: Seven bold predictions for the 2021 season

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports
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Alabama Football Bold Prediction No. 6

The leading Crimson Tide running back in yards-per-carry average will not be Brian Robinson Jr. The distribution of carries by the Tide running backs will not mirror last season. Of the 414 rushes by running backs in 2020, Najee Harris had 251 of them. Najee’s rushing average was an impressive 5.8 yards. Leading that stat for the Crimson Tide last season was Jase McLellan with a 10.3-yard average. Jase had a total of only 23 carries.

This season, four of the running backs should reach 50 carries; a threshold allowing for a fair average comparison. Who will lead the Crimson Tide in yards-per-carry? Roydell Williams is the choice. Maybe Trey Sanders and Jase McLellan are better backs than Williams. If so, it is not by much. Roydell will get more late-game action, against tired defenders or backups and he could surpass Najee’s average from last season.

Camar Wheaton might also be impressive in the same stat. I’m not sure he will reach 50 carries for a fair comparison.

Alabama Football Bold Prediction No. 7

The Crimson Tide will set a new team record by beating five Top 10 teams in one season. After early losses by Georgia, Oregon and Wisconsin, Florida will be ranked No. 10 when the Tide travels to The Swamp. The second Top 10 opponent will be Texas A&M. The other three Top 10 wins will come in the SEC Championship game over Georgia and two College Football Playoff games.

Admittedly this is the boldest of the seven predictions. A Penn State upset of Wisconsin may not happen. In that case, there is a reasonable chance LSU could sneak into the Top 10 by November.

Back in May, I stated history shows the Tide will not be undefeated in 2021. If this Top 10 prediction is correct, there is a strong chance May’s claim will be wrong.

Next. 30 Greatest Games in Crimson Tide history. dark

A big question not yet addressed is how bold will O’Brien’s play-calling be? Last season, Steve Sarkisian was one of the boldest of college football’s OCs.