The Alabama Crimson Tide were two quarters away from making another national title game appearance and adding to the already legendary resume of Coach Nick Saban-that is until Ohio State came roaring back during the second half of the college football semifinal playoff game and eventually went on to win the eighth championship in the program's history . Heading into 2015, Alabama is still sitting near the top of the national title futures odds at Bovada, and the squad will be looking to extend one of the great football dynasties in college football history. Let's take a closer look at Alabama's title chances with predictions and analysis.
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Alabama Crimson Tide Odds to Win the 2016 National Championship Story Lines
Alabama has been such a mainstay in the SEC and national title picture that even suggesting the Crimson Tide might have a tough season is enough to engage fans on the Internet. A few days ago ESPN's Peter Burns stated that Alabama could lose five games this season, which led to a Twitter explosion from Crimson Tide fans, who are used to excellence from the Saban-led program.
While predicting a five-loss season for Alabama might be going out on a limb, the team does have a few questions that need to be answered, particular at the quarterback position and the absence of Blake Sims, Amari Cooper and a few other standout players who left for the NFL during the offseason. The biggest concern for Alabama is that the team plays in a stacked conference filled with potential national title contenders, and the uncertainly of replacing talented starters from previous years might be enough to derail the team's title hopes in 2016.
Alabama Crimson Tide 2015 Schedule
Sept 5: No. 13 Wisconsin
Sept 12: Middle Tennessee
Sept 19: No. 17 Ole Miss
Sept 26: Louisiana-Monroe
Oct 3: @ No. 9 Georgia
Oct 10: Arkansas
Oct 17: @Texas A&M
Oct 24: Tennessee
Nov 7: LSU
Nov 14: @ No. 11 Mississippi State
Nov 21: Charleston
Nov 28: @ No. 22 Auburn
Alabama has a brutal schedule heading into 2015, and on closer inspection Burns' prediction of five losses for the team is not that outrageous. The squad will face five preseason Top 25-ranked teams and has matchups against Arkansas and LSU on the board as well. Even the most optimistic predictions will see two or three losses for the team. The Crimson Tide are still an excellent team, but they might not have enough talent to be a legitimate powerhouse like other programs.
Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 National Championship Odds and Trends
Title Odds: +750
2014 ATS Record: 5-9; 3-6 home
2014 Totals Record: 7-6; 5-3 home
Alabama is receiving solid and enticing odds at +750 and is being lumped into the second-tier of top contenders that includes schools like Auburn, TCU and Florida State, while Ohio State continues to get all the attention as the favorite with +325 odds. The Crimson Tide will not enter the season with as much hype and attention as in years past simply because they will have a new roster with younger players. However, that does not mean Alabama won't have futures value throughout the season as the program recruits well and can turn those unknown commodities into stars by the year's end.
Alabama Crimson Tide 2016 College Football National Championship Picks and Predictions
Alabama could turn out to be a juggernaut by the end of the season. The trouble for bettors is predicting how many of the players stepping into starting roles will respond to the pressure of playing huge matchups nearly every weekend in the SEC. The Crimson Tide have talent, excellent coaching, and a pedigree for greatness. However, bettors may want to take a wait-and-see approach to the squad this season. Even if Alabama doesn't make a national title run, this may be the one year where the team flies a bit under the radar and gets excellent value on its spreads.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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