Where do you go in trying to analyze a game that finished up as a 62-7 beatdown? When the defeated opponent insists on changing mascots every couple of years and is currently promoting something called a “landshark?” When a team's wide receiver corps refers to itself as the “NWO” while its defense is MIA?
The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.
Alabama has multiple dichotomies in play. There is the quarterback battle between Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, a contrast of styles between a quarterback ideally suited for a pro spread passing game and one suited for a spread-option style attack. There is new offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, whose background promises more success the more misdirection and spread elements are inplay, but then there’s new QB coach Dan Enos, who made his bones largely on the back of more traditional sets with play-action and a quarterback under center.
One of the great challenges of watching the 2018 Alabama football team play is convincing people that when the offense, directed by Tua Tagovailoa, is capable of scoring points at will, there remain significant areas of concern that could affect Bama's march back to the college football title game.
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A year after signing what was at the time, the best class in Alabama history on paper – a heralding that backed itself up on the field once the fall came – Alabama couldn’t repeat its past glories, and ended up signing the lowest-ranked class since Nick Saban’s first class at Alabama in 2007.
Sometime close to the moment I snapped this picture a thought occurred to me. There will never be this many people at an Iron Bowl again. Next year’s game is in Auburn, where the stadium capacity is around 87,000. By the time it returns to Tuscaloosa, Bryant-Denny will be in the middle of a renovation that will add more bells and whistles and expensive hangouts for those with the cash and inclination to enjoy such.
This is not an official University of Alabama document. The depth chart is taken from individual practice and game observations, and is color-coded.
Although the Missouri Tigers come to Tuscaloosa riding a two-game losing streak, there is an uneasiness about this matchup that has its roots both in the history of the Alabama-Missouri series and also the high-wire act Alabama Crimson Tide has put on through the season's first month and a half.
Games against teams like The Citadel have become a necessary evil in top-level college football. Top teams can't play challenging games every week, because football is an emotional sport at the college level, the repercussions of a loss are too severe, and sometimes, the starters just need a break.