Alabama Football: Toughest Regular Season Games of 2022, Part 2


Alabama football will go on the road to take on the Texas Longhorns in a week two bout. Austin is busting with anticipation and more than a small amount of confidence.

No. 4: Texas Longhorns

Despite being one of the most recognizable brands in all of college sports, Texas football is notorious for underachieving, particularly in the past decade.

Former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has generated a lot of buzz and is expected to field a formidable team in Austin this season. The Longhorns have already seen success in recruiting and the transfer portal since hiring Sarkisian, but it remains to be seen if this will transfer to the field.

Former Alabama Football Players

Texas features several former Alabama coaches and players and therefore has insight into the culture in Tuscaloosa. They are not the first school to try to capitalize on poaching talent from Nick Saban’s program, and the strategy has seldom been successful.

There will be no shortage of talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Texas Longhorns. They will likely start Quinn Ewers, one of the highest-rated recruits of all time, at quarterback. They will feature Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, one of the best backfield tandems in the nation.

Robinson in particular is immensely talented and hopes to play his way into the first round of the 2023 draft. They will also boast speedster Xavier Worthy on the edge, a deep threat who was perhaps the best freshman wide receiver in the country a year ago.

Running back Keilan Robinson and tight end Jahleel Billingsley give Texas two more talented weapons on offense. Robinson and Billingsley both headed to Austin by way of Tuscaloosa.

Robinson was a reserve for Alabama football and played a similar role at Texas last season, but he has a lot of speed and the versatility to play any skill position on offense. Billingsley is a freakish athlete for his position, but he will not be remembered fondly in Tuscaloosa.

After showing his immense potential as a role player during Alabama’s 2020 championship run, he underachieved on the field in 2021. Even worse, he gave Nick Saban several headaches off the field. After failing to be a difference-maker for the Tide offense and causing Saban to take disciplinary action on multiple occasions, Billingsley transferred shortly after the 2021 season.

While Texas is loaded at the skill positions, they have a lot of improvements to make in the trenches and on the defensive side of the ball. These facets of a team typically take longer to develop and may require several recruiting classes to stack quality depth.

Fans and media members have high expectations for the Texas offense, but Alabama football proved for stretches in 2021 that an offense cannot function without decent offensive line play.

The Texas offense is also full of transfers, and it will take some time for the unit to gel. It is unrealistic to expect them to be performing optimally by week two, and they will be facing arguably the best defense in the country. Quinn Ewers will be starting just his second career game, and he may be running for his life with Will Anderson Jr. and company in hot pursuit.

Next. Lucrative NIL opportunities for Tide players. dark

Although I’m skeptical the Texas hype is actually warranted, this will undoubtedly be Alabama’s most high-profile non-conference game. It should be an exciting contest between two massive brands.