Breaking Down the 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide

The only word to describe Alabama’s loss to Ohio State in the College Football Playoff last year is disappointment. Alabama’s fans fully expected the House that Saban built to beat the Buckeyes and then march on to take out the Oregon Ducks. The loss has appeared to make the Crimson Tide more focused than ever to bring another championship back to Tuscaloosa. But, Alabama will be a much different team this season than they were last season. The key difference is the loss of WR Amari Cooper who became the fifth pick in the NFL Draft. Can Alabama replace a player of Cooper’s ability at wide receiver? How will Nick Saban fix the maligned secondary from last year? Those are two of the burning questions for this Alabama team.

The College Football oddsmakers listed the Alabama Crimson Tide at 9-1 odds to win the 2015-16 FBS Championship and 3-1 to win the SEC.

Alabama Crimson Tide 2015 Betting Preview

  • Conferences: SEC
  • Conference Champion: 23 Times
  • Bowls: 62 Bowls, 35-24-3, .589 W-L% (Major Bowls)
  • 2014 Season Summary: Record: 12-2, .857 W-L% (6th of 128)
  • Rank: 4th in Final AP Poll
  • Conference Record: 8-1 SEC (West Division)
  • Points Scored: 36.9 (16th of 128) ? Points Against: 18.4 (6th of 128)
  • Bowl Game: Lost Sugar Bowl 42-35 versus Ohio State
  • Coach: Nick Saban (12-2)

Alabama Crimson Tide Futures Betting Odds:

  • To Win the National Championship: +900
  • To Win the SEC Conference: +300
  • To Win the SEC West Division: +215

2014 Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Trends:

  • Overall Against the Spread Record: 4-9-1
  • ATS Record at home: 4-5
  • ATS Record away from home: 0-4-1
  • ATS Record as favorites: 4-9-1
  • ATS Record as underdogs: 0-0
  • Over / Under: 7-8

Key Players Lost To The 2015 NFL Draft:

  • WR Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders)
  • RB TJ Yeldon (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • S Landon Collins (NY Giants)
  • OT Austin Shepherd (Minnesota Vikings)
  • DE Xzavier Dickson (New England Patriots
  • FB Jalston Fowler (Tennessee Titans)
  • G Arie Kouandjio (Washington)

2015 Alabama Crimson Tide Offense:

It’s probably too much to ask that Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin can replace Amari Cooper. Cooper is going to be an excellent pro. Replacing a guy like that just doesn’t often happen. Chris Black, Robert Foster and Calvin Ridley will all compete to be Kiffin’s number one WR guy. Maybe, not being able to replace Cooper is a blessing in disguise. Kiffin has one of the best weapons in all of college football in Derrick Henry. Henry is a 6’ 3”, 242 pound running back with speed. Kiffin needs to choose a quarterback who won’t turn the ball over and is capable in the short-passing game. With Henry, the offense should be able to put up enough points for Alabama to rest and rely on the defense.

2015 Alabama Crimson Tide Defense:

If the secondary comes together, Alabama is going to have the best defense in all of college football. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has a front-seven that will dominate opposing offensive lines. The D-line starts with returners Darren Reed, A’Shawn Robinson and Jonathan Allen. All three guys are capable of getting to the quarterback before the QB can expose Alabama’s secondary.

Linebacker Reggie Ragland could have gone pro and didn’t. He wants to win a championship. Ragland has the ability to cut down running backs and guard tight-ends. He’ll be part of the second line. The secondary is the issue. Alabama lost both of its starting safeties. They need someone to emerge to lead the unit. If it doesn’t happen, Alabama could be looking at New Year’s Bowl Game as the best that they can do. 

2015 Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule:

  • Sat, Sept 5 ALA vs Wisconsin* 8:00 PM ET | ABC
  • Sat, Sept 12 ALA vs Mid Tennessee 4:00 PM ET
  • Sat, Sept 19 ALA vs Ole Miss 9:15 PM ET ESPN
  • Sat, Sept 26 ALA vs UL Monroe TBD
  • Sat, Oct 3 ALA @ Georgia TBD
  • Sat, Oct 10 ALA vs Arkansas TBD
  • Sat, Oct 17 ALA @ Texas A&M TBD
  • Sat, Oct 24 ALA vs Tennessee TBD
  • Sat, Nov 7 ALA vs LSU TBD
  • Sat, Nov 14 ALA @ Miss St TBD
  • Sat, Nov 21 ALA vs Charleston So TBD
  • Sat, Nov 28 ALA @ Auburn TBD

Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Outlook:

The schedule isn’t soft. Alabama starts off the season by playing Wisconsin. The defensive line will be tested in that game. The Crimson Tide shouldn’t have an issue until facing Texas A&M in College Station on Oct. 17. A&M’s QB, Kyle Allen, will test the Tide’s secondary. If the secondary has come together, Alabama could get to the College Football Playoff again. If not, both Texas A&M and Auburn could put two losses onto the Crimson Tide in 2015. A two loss Alabama squad is the more likely outcome.

Connect With the Alabama Crimson Tide:

Sources:

http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/alabama/
http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/teams/aad/
http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/_/id/333/alabama-crimson-tide
http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/