Let’s Take a Look at the 2016 Alabama Crimson Tide Season Total Win Prediction
Tide No. 1 In Polls AgainAlabama is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches preseason poll. The ranking marks the seventh consecutive year the Crimson Tide are among the top-3 teams in the nation heading into the new season. Alabama returns 14 starters from last season’s squad that finished 14-1 and won the school’s 16th national championship. The Crimson Tide received 55 of a possible 64 first-place votes in the poll.
The Crimson Tide will face four teams ranked in the preseason top-25 poll, including LSU (6), Tennessee (10) and Ole Miss (12). Alabama opens its season on Sept. 3 in Arlington, Texas against 17th-ranked Southern California.
The Tide do have some key players to replace, led by Heisman Trophy winning running back Derrick Henry and starting QB Jake Coker. But Saban has five-star recruits at just about every position on the roster. All eyes in fall camp are be on the quarterback position. Most believe the leader is Cooper Bateman, who was Coker’s backup last year. He made his first career start at quarterback against Ole Miss, going 11-for- 14 for 87 yards and an interception. He had a long pass of 30 yards on a strike to O.J.
Howard on the Tide’s first drive of the game. Bateman exited the game midway through the second quarter and Coker never came back out. Overall, Bateman completed 71.2 percent of his passes (37-of-52) for 291 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown across seven appearances. Bateman saw the most time with the first-team offense during the spring, though the quarterback competition remains wide-open.
“Somebody’s got to win that job,” Saban said. “Somebody’s got to win the team. You know, that has not necessarily happened yet. And, you know, I’m not going to sit up here and sort of try to, you know, I don’t know the right word, but give you some statistics on who’s winning the race and how the race is going and who’s ahead, are they on the back stretch or in the final turn. That’s something that’s going to happen probably in fall camp. I hope in fall camp.”
The Tide had 13 players picked to the all-SEC preseason team, including a conference high seven first-teamers that includes three players on both offense and defense and one specialist. Senior Howard, sophomore receiver Calvin Ridley (a future superstar) and junior offensive tackle Cam Robinson were selected on offense, while a trio of seniors – defensive end Jonathan Allen, linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Eddie Jackson – were named to the defensive first team. Junior punter JK Scott rounds out the first-team selections for the Tide.
Alabama has been a betting underdog just once since 2009. That was last year at Georgia and the Tide rolled. They aren’t likely to be a dog in any game this year, although it’s possible they could be Nov. 5 at a loaded LSU team. The Tide will go 4-0 in their non-conference schedule.