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Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 Football Schedule and Analysis

Alabama has one of the SEC's toughest schedules, but if there is any team that can manage, it's the Crimson Tide

Alabama may have won its fourth national title in the last seven years, but the Crimson Tide have one of the SEC's most challenging schedules heading into the 2016 season. Alabama's road to Atlanta, or potentially further, won't be easy.

 

Related: Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 Spring Football Preview

 

The Tide opens the season against a potential top-15 non-conference opponent down in Jerry's Palace, then two weeks later, travels to Oxford to play a team it has lost to the past two seasons. Alabama also has road trips booked for Fayetteville, Knoxville and Baton Rouge.

 

But that's all just life in the SEC. Alabama should still be one of the favorites to get back to the College Football Playoff in 2016.

 

College Football: Conference Champs, National Title Contenders



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2016 Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule

 

Bye: Week 9

 

Wk Opp. Date Location
1.

Sept. 3

8 PM ET

ABC

Arlington, TX

This adds another layer to an already monumental slate of college football games scheduled for week one. Alabama and USC are two of the most storied programs in the nation. Surprisingly, the teams have met only seven times, with Alabama winning the last contest in 1985. This one should be a dog fight down in Texas.

2.

Sept. 10

3:30 PM ET

ESPN2

Tuscaloosa, AL

At the current rate, Alabama plays Western Kentucky every four years. In 2008, the Tide beat the Hilltoppers 41-7, and then in 2012 shut them out 35-0. Western Kentucky had a good football team last year, and this one is sandwiched between a couple of big games for Alabama. It could get tricky, but probably not.

3.

Sept. 17

3:30 PM ET

CBS

Oxford, MI

Last year, people were calling this one the revenge game for Alabama. That label will likely be emphasized even more this year. The Crimson Tide have lost two in a row to the Rebels, but Ole Miss returns the fewest starters in the SEC this fall. Still yet, with Chad Kelly slinging passes, it should be interesting.

4. Sept. 24 Tuscaloosa, AL

Alabama will need a bit of a "breather" coming off a physical early portion of the schedule. Fortunately, it gets Kent State in week four. These teams have met only once. Alabama defeated the Golden Flashes 48-7 back in 2011.

5. Oct. 1 Tuscaloosa, AL

Kentucky has beaten Alabama only twice in 39 meetings between the teams. One of those wins came in 1922. The other came in 1997. Something tells me Kentucky just won't have a roster equipped to go into Tuscaloosa and win. This game should provide a nice tune up for Alabama before getting into the meat of the SEC schedule.

6. Oct. 8 Fayetteville, AR

The beginning of a difficult stretch for the Tide starts in Fayetteville. While Arkansas is losing the majority of its offense, Bret Bielema and company have been knocking on Alabama's door. The Hogs were just a missed extra point from overtime against Alabama the last time they met in Fayetteville. This should be a physical test. Alabama will have to earn it.

7. Oct. 15 Knoxville, TN

No team in college football has beaten Alabama more times than Tennessee. This annual rivalry is finally back in its rightful place on the Third Saturday in October, and the Vols look to have their most talented team in at least a decade. Tennessee led Alabama in the fourth quarter last year before a late Derrick Henry touchdown. Neyland Stadium will be rocking for this rivalry game.

8. Oct. 22 Tuscaloosa, AL

After back-to-back road games, Alabama comes back home to play A&M. The Aggies have some question marks at quarterback, but Trevor Knight could turn heads early in SEC play. Texas A&M won in Tuscaloosa back in 2012, but Alabama has cruised in the past two meetings. Nick Saban will be happy to have a week off after this one.

10. Nov. 5 Baton Rouge, LA

It's not like it gets any easier, right? At least Alabama should be fresh when it heads to Death Valley. I know we say it every year, but this really could be LSU's time to shine. From a talent standpoint, there simply isn't a team in college football more stacked than the Tigers heading into the fall. Also, there's probably a decent chance this will be a night game.

11. Nov. 12 Tuscaloosa, AL

The most brutal portion of the stretch should be over for Alabama at this point in November, but the Tide can't take Mississippi State lightly. The Bulldogs will be in a bit of a rebuilding phase with the loss of Dak Prescott, but Dan Mullen is a capable head coach. State hasn't beaten Alabama since 2007, Saban's first year in Tuscaloosa.

12. Nov. 19 Tuscaloosa, AL

Not exactly a resume enhancer, playing Chattanooga in November. If Alabama is trying to impress the College Football Playoff Selection Committee late in the season, it will be tough to do against this opponent. But hey, the rest of the SEC is pretty much off this week as well.

13. Nov. 26 Tuscaloosa, AL

It's still kind of puzzling how Auburn ended up being so average last year. But even with that, the Tigers still managed to keep Alabama from blowing them out the last week of the season. Nobody really knows what to expect from Gus Malzahn's squad this fall, but we do know that Alabama has won four of the past five Iron Bowl matchups comfortably.

 

— Written by Cody McClure, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a radio host and lead SEC Writer for Three Point Stance Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @CodyMcClureCFB.

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