With week zero in progress, it is time for this Alabama football fan to predict the Crimson Tide’s 2023 season.
As I wrote a week ago, what we don’t know about the season is more than normal. I have not found much clarity since.
What I wrote before is still true and the opening game with Middle Tennessee State will not answer many questions about the Crimson Tide.
"How long has it been since expectations about an Alabama football season were so imprecise? Visions of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s future are fuzzy. Some things can be known, but the ‘don’t knows’ are more numerous."
After all that waffling, I am prepared to make a definitive statement of belief. Alabama Football will be the better team in all 12 regular season games. As we all know, in football and other sports, the better team does not always win.
So will the Alabama Crimson Tide lose in any ‘better team’ situations? Given all regular season opponents every benefit of doubt, perhaps five teams have a legitimate chance to beat Alabama. Using ESPN’s Analytics the five teams are LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and Ole Miss.
National college football pundits are predicting the Crimson Tide will lose one to three regular season games. One deranged source (not identified by me to protect the foolish) even argued the Crimson Tide would lose four regular season games.
Unfortunately, such blasphemous claims drive too much of what is still called sports journalism. My counter is that Alabama will at worst lose one regular season game. Against a tough schedule, the odds of going undefeated in the regular season are small. Teamrankings.com calculates Bama’s odds at 15.9%.
With no use of an algorithm and making a SWAG assessment instead, I give the Crimson Tide a 75-plus% probability of losing just one regular season game. Which game will it be?
Alabama Football Toughest Games
- The ESPN algorithm calculates at 74.2% probability of an Alabama win, that LSU will be the Tide’s toughest game. My prediction is the Bengal Tigers will not win in Tuscaloosa.
- Next toughest for the Tide, according to ESPN will be Texas with Bama’s winning probability at 75.2%. The Longhorns have a top QB, a more than solid offensive line, and arguably the best group of receivers in college football. My prediction is Texas will not win in Tuscaloosa, but I will not be shocked if they do.
- At 82% win probability for the Crimson Tide at Texas A&M could be the third toughest game. I doubt the chemistry of Fisher-Petrino-Durkin can build a championship-level team, but the Aggies have plenty of talent. My prediction is an Alabama win, but the Aggies can win in a game if Alabama helps beat itself.
- The other two are Tennessee and Ole Miss. ESPN gives the Crimson Tide win probabilities of over 86% in each game. With another SWAG, I give the Tide 95%.
My overall regular season prediction is 11-1 and I feel better about predicting 12-0 than I do 10-2.