2010 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Preview, Futures Odds and Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 7/29/2010
The Alabama Crimson Tide ended on top of the football world last year with a win over the Texas Longhorns in the BCS National Championship Game. Nick Saban’s team must replace 10 starters on defense, so the new faces will be all over the field. The good news for Crimson Tide fans is the depth at Alabama is tremendous, and many people believe this year’s defense will pick up right where last year’s left off.
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Alabama Offensive Preview
Mark Ingram is back after winning the Heisman Trophy last year, and I fully expect him to have a huge season again this year. According to 5Dimes, Mark Ingram is listed as the Heisman Trophy favorite for this year at +380 to win the hardware. As a whole, the Alabama offense will return eight of their 11 starters. QB Greg McElroy may not have had to take over games last year, but the job he did managing the game was tremendous. McElroy finished the season with 17 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. Expect Saban to call on McElroy to air it out more often this year as he continues to gain confidence in the young quarterback. Julio Jones is one of the most talented receivers in all of football. He was injured quite a bit last year and still caught 43 passes. His numbers should go up a great deal this season. While it’s easy to forget because of how great Ingram is, Trent Richardson is an amazing back that will contribute in a big way this season as well.
Alabama Defensive Preview
Normally a unit that lost so many of its starters would not be expected to be one of the best in the country, but this isn’t a normal team. The biggest losses from last year are Terrence Cody, Rolando McClain, and Javier Arenas. Can the youngsters step in and help the defense not miss a beat? That is the million-dollar question for Alabama this year. There will be a ton of talent on the field for this unit, led by Dont’a Hightower and Mark Barron. The rumblings around college football are that many of the young players Saban is ready to plug into this defense are already NFL-ready athletes. The Crimson Tide were ranked second in the entire country last year in defense. I think it’s highly unlikely this group can maintain quite that high of a ranking, but they’ll be very good.
Alabama Question Marks
This is the preseason No. 1 team for almost everyone, so there aren’t too many question marks, but there are definitely a couple. The Crimson Tide are in serious need of a reliable kicker. Leigh Tiffin won them several games last year with his foot, but he is gone and they need someone else to step it up.
Outside of Mark Barron the secondary could be a bit of an issue. They’ll need the young cornerbacks and safeties to step up in a hurry, or a team with a solid quarterback could hurt them.
2010 Alabama Futures Odds
The Crimson Tide are definitely thought of highly by the oddsmakers going into this season, and who can blame them? Alabama is currently listed at +425 to win the BCS Championship for college football futures odds at 5Dimes, which makes them the favorite. What about the SEC odds? The Crimson Tide are listed at -170 to win the SEC West and +125 to be the overall SEC champion.
2010 Alabama Football Schedule - Key Games
The 2010 Alabama football schedule is a difficult one. The Crimson Tide will match up against Penn State in their second game of the season. The Nittany Lions should be down some this year, so I don’t expect that to be a big problem for Alabama. The game on Sept. 25 at Arkansas is the first game on the schedule that will be extremely telling as to how this Alabama defense can hold up. Ryan Mallett is one of the best quarterbacks in all of football, so the secondary of the Crimson Tide should be ready for an all out aerial attack in this one. The schedule also has a key matchup with LSU in Baton Rouge on the first weekend in November.
2010 Alabama Football Predictions
I don’t blame the oddsmakers or the experts one bit for making Alabama the favorite to win the BCS title this year, but I do know how difficult it is to repeat in today’s environment. I think there is a good chance that Alabama will lose to either Arkansas or LSU on the road. In the end, this is a team that has just as much talent as anyone in football, but the lack of experience will hurt them. I think they’ll fall just a little short of a second straight national title.
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