I’m sure most, if not all, of you have the Alabama football team’s scheduled memorized and have your plans set for tailgating and watching the game.
Here’s a look at the schedule with why I’m interested in seeing the game in my first year on the beat.
• Aug. 31 vs. Virginia Tech at Georgia Dome: It will be my first game covering the Crimson Tide. That has me fired up already. Then there’s the fact that it’s against a strong program and in an NFL stadium.
• Sept. 7: Bye: It’s a strange time to take a break. Teams usually like to have a bye at midseason.
• Sept. 14: at Texas A&M: Johnny Football will be on display. He beat Alabama last year. I’m sure the Crimson Tide will want revenge.
• Sept. 21: vs. Colorado State: It’s the first home game of the season. Folks I’ve talked to as I settled in the Tuscaloosa area stress how big home games are around here.
• Sept. 28: vs. Ole Miss: I have a close friend who tells me Ole Miss stories from growing up around the area. He talked them up, but we’ll see if he does when it’s Alabama week.
• Oct. 5: vs. Georgia State: Well, it’s a home football game.
• Oct. 12: at Kentucky: Mark Stoops is the new head coach. His brother, Mike, coached at Arizona when I covered a Pac-12 team. He was very entertaining with his crazy basketball coach-like sideline antics. Is Mark similar to Mike?
• Oct. 19: vs. Arkansas: Another new coach in Bret Bielema, who is from Wisconsin. He was a good guy dealing with him the both times the Badgers played the previous team I covered.
• Oct. 26: vs. Tennessee: Life has been tough lately for the Volunteers, but there’s some sort of rivalry with Alabama. I remember when their game was must-see-TV, even on the West Coast.
• Nov. 2: Bye
• Nov. 9: vs. LSU: Big game for the rankings. My first game at my previous shop was at LSU with Nick Saban as the coach. It was a memorable game for me at many levels.
• Nov. 16: at Mississippi State: There’s a proximity rivalry game here, but not in the wins and losses. It’s called the 90 Mile Drive, and it will be interesting to make.
• Nov. 23: vs. Chattanooga: Well, it’s another home game.
• Nov. 30: at Auburn: The Iron Bowl speaks for itself. I’ve heard so much about the rivalry, I’m looking forward to experiencing the game.