Adaptability and adjustments are key to Alabama Football season

Alabama football fans don't know exactly what to expect in 2024. Alabama Football's opponents don't know either.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks ago Vanderbilt head coach, Clark Lea said "What I’ve heard is that everything I’ve heard is not to be trusted." Lea was talking about swirling news of possible changes to college football roster sizes and the future of walk-ons.

His comment stuck in my mind as applicable to any number of unknowns. As is, how much can Alabama football fans trust our opinions of what the Crimson Tide's 2024 season will bring? On my part, I keep looking closely at weaknesses others say the Crimson Tide will have. Given the flood of gloom and doom that emanated from most of the college football world in January and February was so overblown, it is hard to take predicted weaknesses seriously.

Like many Alabama football fans, I believe Kalen DeBoer was a great hire. I am confident he has put together a superb staff, that might be better than Nick Saban's last two or three staffs. But it is unrealistic to believe there will be no drop-off in the post-GOAT era.

When will the extent of growing pains become obvious? Not in week one, or week two of the season against Western Kentucky and South Florida. Wisconsin is a serious opponent but not one that will possibly fully test the Alabama Crimson Tide. Georgia will provide a test on September 28th. An Alabama win would strongly indicate the '24 Crimson Tide is a legit national championship contender. A loss to the Bulldogs would not define the Crimson Tide as a pretender.

Maybe Alabama will explode against the Bulldogs and growing pains are not a concern. Realistically, what the 2024 Alabama Crimson Tide will become may not be seen clearly until Tennessee and Missouri on Oct. 19th and Oct. 26th. If so, Alabama fans will have to cope with some unknowns. The good news is Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and even LSU will also have unknowns about the Crimson Tide.

Every Alabama opponent is already drilling deep into Kalen DeBoer's Washington offense. The same is true of Kane Wommack's defenses. The Tide's opponents will learn much, but until the Georgia game, it will be impossible to learn how much DeBoer and Wommack have adjusted their schemes to match Alabama's talents. None of Alabama's coaches will abandon what has worked for them in the past, but they might adjust enough that Georgia and some later opponents may be in for surprises.

DeBoer's offense is credited for being adaptable. Adaptable to the extent that adjusting tactics during games to how opposing defenses are playing is a given. Alabama has not had that tool since Steve Sarkisian was the OC. If it has it again, then the Tide's 2024 floor is 9-3, with a ceiling of 11 or 12 regular season wins.

At least those are thoughts that keep kicking around my head, while also realizing there are so many unknowns, I should, in Clark Lea's perspective, be wary of what I think I know.