The Big Alabama 2009 Breakdown
This story originally appeared at BleacherReport.com
Alabama will open the 2009 season against Virginia Tech in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech/Sept. 5/Level of Difficulty: 8
Alabama kicks off the year in the Georgia Dome for the second year in a row, only this time against Virginia Tech. I put this at eight on the difficulty scale, because it is always hard to start the season off against a strong opponent such as Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech has Tyrod Taylor who is an excellent quarterback and has been compared to Michael Vick. If Alabama wants to win this game, they need to step up from the get go with their defense. I am not worried because Nick Saban knows his defense and will find a way to stop Taylor.
Florida International/Sept. 12/Level of Difficulty: 3
I think that the level of difficulty should be three with Florida International, mainly, because they are one of the weaker opponents Alabama has. Do not get me wrong, we shouldn't underestimate anybody, ever since we lost to Louisiana-Monroe, which, by the way, is in the same conference as Florida International. I still think Alabama should not have trouble with them though.
North Texas/Sept. 19/Level of Difficulty: 3
I think that it will be just about the same result in the North Texas game as in the Florida International game. Like I said before, we still should not underestimate them. Either way, this should not have to be a challenge for Alabama.
Arkansas/Sept. 26/Level of Difficulty: 6
I think this deserves to be a six because, even though Bobby Petrino is a great coach, he will not start having success until his third year. I still think that this will be a challenge, because Arkansas is an SEC opponent and will bring it to you when you least expect it. So this one could change, but I think Alabama can handle it.
Kentucky/Oct. 3/Level of Difficulty: 5
I know Kentucky is a great team, but now that Andre Woodson and last year Kentucky needed him, I think that they will be a weaker opponent in the SEC. I think they have a great coach with a lot of experience but not enough to beat Alabama. Since the game is away though, I feel Kentucky might put up a fight.
Ole Miss/Oct. 10/Level of Difficulty: 8
I know eight is an extremely high number for a team that has been a weak opponent in the SEC in the past, but Ole Miss has a great football team. I think, after the upsets Ole Miss pulled last year, they have already proven themselves. I still know a few people that doubt Ole Miss, but I can guarantee you that they will be a tough opponent and have a great record.
South Carolina/Oct. 17/Level of Difficulty: 7
This is the game that has worried me deeply. I have put this game at seven simply because we chose an SEC opponent like South Carolina as our homecoming. To me, that is a slap in the face, and that's what gets a team fired up. South Carolina also has a great team and a legendary coach. This will be a tough game for the Tide, trust me.
Tennessee/Oct. 24/Level of Difficulty: 6 1/2
I know Alabama vs. Tennessee is a big rivalry, but with Tennessee having a new coach, I can't have too much confidence in Tennessee. They will still bring a good game to Alabama like they always do, but nothing is going to change the fact that they have a young team.
LSU/Nov. 7/Level of Difficulty: 7 1/2
I know that this will be a tough game, do not get me wrong. There is one reason though why I put seven and a half; Alabama gets their bye week the week before that game. I think Saban will know to make sure to improve on things before this game, so I am giving a look out warning to Les Miles.
Mississippi State/ Nov. 14/Level of Difficulty: 6
I am predicting Alabama beats Mississippi State, but it won't be easy, because despite it being Dan Mullen's first year, Mississippi State is going to have a pretty good football team. Alabama needs to watch out for this opponent.
Tennessee Chattanooga/Nov. 21/Level of Difficulty: 2
I know two is a very low number when you have schools like Tennessee Chattanooga. You have to remember they are not able to get strong recruiting classes. So, I think that Alabama will not have too much trouble with this opponent.
Auburn/Nov. 28/Level of Difficulty: 6
I do not think Auburn will be a tough challenge only because of first year head coach Gene Chizik. I think Alabama should still play their butts off in this game though, or they will get beat.
Editor's Note: Articles from http://www.bleacherreport.com occasionally appear here.
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