How will Alabama Football adapt to tougher schedules going forward?

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

In the newly restructured Southeastern Conference, Alabama and every other team in the league will have to adjust to what will probably be the toughest year-in and year-out schedules in college football history.

The SEC already featured many of the sport’s top programs, and it will add two more traditional powers in Oklahoma and Texas in 2024. In addition to the one or more challenging non-conference games that most SEC teams play annually, the difficulty of schedules will reach unprecedented levels. 

Big 10 schedules will also be tougher across the board. The league that was previously bouyed by Ohio State, Michigan, and to some extent Penn State has now added four former PAC-12 schools that bring varying degrees of cachet. These include the 2023 national runner-up in Washington, a top-10 program in Oregon, and two programs with enormous potential in USC and UCLA.

When looking at Alabama’s 2024 schedule, the Crimson Tide will have to play road games at Wisconsin, LSU, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, as well as home games against opponents like Georgia and Auburn, among other potentially tough games. Other teams, like the Florida Gators, figure to have an even tougher draw. 

In 2025, Alabama will play the same slew of SEC foes. It will also open its season at Florida State in Tallahassee. While it’s too far out to project how good these programs will be, Bama’s 2025 slate features at least three opponents that were borderline top-5 teams this past season. 

College football has seemingly attempted to account for the absurd schedules that will come as a result of conference realignment and super-conferences, implementing a 12-team playoff starting in the 2024 season. 

For programs like Alabama, depth will become more critical when considering the longer season and tougher opponents. While things won’t be easy, the Crimson Tide should adapt quickly and enjoy a smoother transition than most programs. 

With Kalen DeBoer now at the helm, a new era of Alabama Football will coincide with the unfamiliar landscape of the sport as a whole.