One of these years, sometime in the distant future we can't quite see yet, Alabama will finish a football season at 5-7 or 6-6. It's true. It will happen.
But I have a feeling it will be long after our generation has left this earth.
And it really won't happen while Nick Saban is still around. Pfft, of course not. That's what makes picking Alabama's game-by-game results for 2019 so freakin' easy. According to Vegas Insider, the Crimson Tide have 5/2 odds of winning the national championship. And if you believe some of the preseason betting lines that come out for a teams' entire season, it appears that the only time the Red Elephants are in any danger of a game that will be within two touchdowns will be when they go to Texas A&M (they are 14-point favorites) and at Auburn (13-point favorites).
The only thing Bama haters can hope for this coming football season is a monumental upset. Because between now and the SEC Championship Game (presumably vs. Georgia), there is little hope of a check-mark in the loss column for the Crimson Tide. Sure, A&M won twice on Kyle Field last year as a home underdog and yes, Auburn has won two of the last three Iron Bowls played on the Plains. But it will still take some kind of natural disaster to keep the Tide from pulling Ws in those two venues this year.
Meh, stranger things have happened, right?
Detractors can point to the fact that six new coaches mean there are potential continuity problems in the season ahead, just as Saban complained about in the title game vs. Clemson. But this is still an Alabama team that is led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Tua Tagovailoa, has the best receiving corps in the country, has the best front seven on defense, and has a second team unit that could be a top-25 team of its own if they split off and made a B team that competed in D1 football.
And it also doesn't hurt that the schedule is a piece of cake this year. Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Miss and (egad!) Western Carolina will be glorified scrimmages at best. LSU comes to Tuscaloosa for what has become its annual flogging and the aforementioned roadies to A&M and Auburn aren't too daunting either.
So is Alabama a virtual lock to get back to the College Football Playoff and compete for another national title? Athlon asked a few editors and one of its college football contributors to share their realistic win/loss projection for Alabama in 2019.
Alabama Football Game-by-Game Predictions for 2019
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
With the loss to Clemson still fresh in the minds of Alabama’s roster, Nick Saban won’t have to look far to find something to utilize for motivation in 2019. The Crimson Tide are primed for another run at the national championship but some question marks exist. Can Alabama protect quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? Is Mac Jones ready to play meaningful snaps if Tagovailoa has to miss some? On defense, finding another linebacker to pair with Dylan Moses on the interior is a priority after Joshua McMillon was lost for the year due to injury. Additionally, as evidenced in the national championship, there’s room to improve in pass coverage. With a loaded cast of skill players, a healthy Tagovailoa should post huge numbers and challenge for the Heisman Trophy and lead Alabama to a 12-0 mark once again. With a loaded roster, a difference-maker at quarterback and the nation’s best coach, the Crimson Tide can channel last year’s disappointment into another title run and a shot at revenge in New Orleans.
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
There's not much analysis required here. Barring a rash of injuries or some other unforeseen issues, Alabama will be favored to win every game on its schedule. There are no doubt some challenging games, but each falls at an advantageous time on the schedule. Bama is off the weeks prior to the trip to Texas A&M and the home date with LSU, and it plays Western Carolina the week before the finale against Auburn. Things are setting up nicely for a 12–0 regular season.
Eric Sorenson (@Stitch_Head)
Last year, the Tide won every one of their regular-season games by 22 points or better (the first time that has happened in NCAA history). Look for more of the same in 2019. The only question marks come in the SEC Championship Game and the impending College Football Playoff, which you can pencil the Tide in for. That's where the real rubber meets the road. Up until then, I'm thinking we'll be seeing 12 straight wins, most of them being yawners worth cutting out after halftime. I get the sense that a lot of Bama fans will be heading home to catch the second half of their games on the flat screen in their den with a brew in hand