Alabama Football: In ’23 season, toughest places to play favors Crimson Tide

Fans light up the stadium with cell phones during a media timeout between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Utah State Aggies (Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports)
Fans light up the stadium with cell phones during a media timeout between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Utah State Aggies (Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports) /

Alabama Football has some scheduling advantages in the 2023 season. Not that the Alabama Crimson Tide’s schedule is not tough. It is plenty tough enough for an impressive SOS.

What perhaps gives the Crimson Tide an advantage, and certainly provides a buffer against some tough games, is where the games will be played.

There are several SEC football stadiums that give the home team a strong advantage. In some cases, the advantage can be estimated as three points or more.

247Sports recently ranked college football’s ten toughest places to play in the 2023 season. Four of the 10 stadiums ranked are the homes of SEC teams.

To explain the rankings, 247 stated,

"They are treacherous environments for opposing teams and fans play a huge role in the outcomes of games, frustrating offenses with volume and noise."

Any Alabama football fan who has been to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, especially after dark, will attest that “fans play a huge role” is an understatement.

Three of the four toughest stadium environments in college football house SEC programs and the Crimson Tide does not play an away game at any of them this season. Bryant-Denny Stadium is one of the three and is ranked by 247 at No. 4.

Alabama Football has won 20 straight games in Bryant-Denny. Alabama’s last loss in Tuscaloosa was in 2019 when Tua Tagovailoa gamely limped around the field against the later-to-be National Champion, LSU Bengal Tigers.

The Georgia Bulldogs have won 18 straight games at Sanford Stadium in Athens, going back to October 2019. 247 did not include Sanford Stadium in the top ten toughest places, possibly because the Dawgs have played so few challenging opponents in Athens.

Alabama Football and Tough Road Stadiums

In the top ten toughest list is only one stadium the Crimson Tide must visit in the 2023 season. It is Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn (ranked at No. 7). There is no denying Alabama Football has painful history from some games in Jordan-Hare. Some kind of bizarre college football voodoo seems to favor Auburn at home, and it has been evident not only against the Crimson Tide.

Auburn is coming off a seven-loss season, with undistinguished wins over Mercer, San Jose State, Texas A&M, Western Kentucky, and Missouri. The Tigers should be better under Hugh Freeze. In 2023, Auburn might win seven games. There is such a talent gap between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide, one of those wins will not be over Alabama. No amount of Auburn voodoo could pull off that kind of upset.

Next. There is little reason for Nick Saban to ever retire. dark

Maybe Tennessee and LSU will again offer Alabama stiff challenges. But the Vols and the Bengal Tigers must come to Bryant-Denny and the Tide crowd will be a major factor.