Category Archives: schedule

Looking at the Crimson Tide schedule

Alabama head coach Nick Saban observing the open period of the spring scrimmage on Saturday. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Alabama head coach Nick Saban observing the open period of the spring scrimmage on Saturday. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

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.

Alabama's strength of schedule? Not very

One of the joys of the summer comes in reading the piles of preseason preview magazines that flood the market. A quick stop at a local bookstore revealed the first few trickling onto the shelves just waiting to be devoured.

One of the stables is put together by a guy named Phil Steele. He always claims to be the most accurate predictor and who am I to say he isn’t. Anyway, I was just looking over his Web site and came across an interesting ranking: Strength of schedule.

Despite having a big shot in Virginia Tech to open the 2009 season, the Crimson Tide is not a leader in SOS. Here is a sampling:

1. Florida State
2. Oklahoma State
3. Syracuse
4. South Carolina
5. Auburn
109. Idaho
110. Alabama
111. Northwestern
112. Northern Illinois
113. Arkansas State

For the full rankings click here.