Alabama Football -- 2012 Game-By-Game Preview

Last season I pulled off the upset by predicting an Alabama and LSU rematch in the BCS Championship and I've only mentioned it to people that were within earshot of my voice.

Did I mention that I predicted it more than once before the 2011 season started? Did I? Okay. I'm sorry. I just wanted to see what it felt like to be Phil Steele and spend the first half of everything I write reminding others how right I was about stuff that happened a year ago.

*Side note -- I read every word of Phil Steele's annual magazine. This is why I know this. Much love, Phil. Much love*

Let's not waste anymore time.  It's time to predict Alabama's 2012 season -- Game-by-every sweet-game.

SPOILER ALERT -- Everything I say comes true.








[caption id="attachment_703" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The road to number 15 in Miami will begin in Dallas on September 1"][/caption]




September 1 -- Michigan Wolverines -- ARLINGTON (Cowboys Stadium)

Alabama is playing in yet another season-opening game against a marquee opponent. When the matchup was first announced in 2010, it appeared the game was going to be more about one historical powerhouse that's really good now -- Alabama -- versus an historical team that had fallen off the map -- Michigan.  Now, the game could realistically feature two teams from the top ten.

One cool side-note to this game is that both of these teams finished their respective 2011 seasons in New Orleans. Michigan defeated Virginia Tech in overtime, 23-20, in the Sugar Bowl while Alabama claimed their 14th national championship one week later in the same building with a 21-0 victory over LSU.

Alabama should win this game, but people said the same thing about Clemson in the 2008 opener in Atlanta when they were favored to beat a young Alabama team that was hopeful of being a competitor in the SEC West again.  But, 2008 Clemson ain't 2012 Alabama.

'Bama gets it done after tying Denard Robinson's shoelaces without prior written consent of Robinson and/or Major League Baseball

'Bama 34 Michigan 17

September 8 -- Western Kentucky -- TUSCALOOSA

You know what? I know people underestimate WKU, but if you truly breakdown their roster.... Whatever.

With all due respect to the Hilltoppers and I do mean with all due respect -- Let's completely overlook WKU and focus solely on the big daddy in Fayetteville.

'Bama 52 WKU 7








[caption id="attachment_704" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="So the Sugar Bowl hat from last year is not doing it for anyone, no? Well, dang. "][/caption]




September 15 -- at Arkansas -- FAYETTEVILLE

Don't be surprised when Fayetteville comes unglued when the game finally kicks off.  The Hogs haven't beaten the 'Tide since 2006 and after 2010's complete come-apart when Alabama came back from a 20-7 second half deficit to win, 24-20, who can blame them.

It was so tough on Bobby Petrino, he only texted his girlfriend 54 times that day. We have a few of those texts.  Take a look.

Bobby: Girrrrrrl, we done lost to Alabama again.

Girl: Bobby, you so crazy. What time are you coming to my trailer to pick me up? Daddy goes to bed at 9:00 so it needs to be after that.

Bobby: Girrrrl.  I'll be on my hog and we'll ride all night. Woot.

Anywho, Alabama wins this one easily on the road because, well, just because.  It's Alabama and they are awesome.  Let's move on because we got a big game with Florida Atlantic to get ready for.  

'Bama 35 Arkansas 17

September 22 - Florida Atlantic -- TUSCALOOSA

May I direct your attention to the WKU game above?

September 29 -- Mississippi -- TUSCALOOSA

If one thing in life is certain, it's Ole Miss losing to Alabama every year that a Manning isn't quarterback. Forgive me for disrespecting the Black Bears of Oxford, but Ole Miss football is nothing more than Vanderbilt without the admissions standards.  No, maybe that's being too harsh... to Vandy.

'Bama 66 Ole Miss 0

October 6 -- OPEN

Again, the WKU and Florida Atlantic games above.

October 13 -- at Missouri -- COLUMBIA

Alabama and Missouri last played in 1978 in Columbia, with the 'Tide winning 38-20. These Missouri players will certainly have this 34-year-old game in the back of their minds. It may be the difference.  Probably not, but this will be the first of two meetings between 'Bama and Mizzou.  'Bama wins the first one.

'Bama 38 Mizzou 13

October 20 -- at Tennessee -- KNOXVILLE

It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since Dennis Franchione -- yuck -- and the Crimson Tide ended the Volunteers' seven-year winning streak over Alabama.

Now the tables are turned. Alabama has a five-year streak of their own going and they've won six of the last seven.  Is there any reason to believe this will not be Alabama's seventh win over the last eight year? No.

'Bama 42 UT 17

October 27 -- Mississippi State -- TUSCALOOSA

So Dan Mullen talks an inordinate amount of smack and his team, once again, can't cash the check his mouth is writing. Don't worry, Coach. You can keep on bragging about beating Ole Miss.  Good for you, Coach. Good for you.

'Bama 28 MSU 6

November 3 -- LSU -- BATON ROUGE (Night on ESPN?)

There is a high probability that this game will be a night game on ESPN after CBS made a deal with ESPN to move last year's game in Tuscaloosa to prime time. So if it's at night, then LSU will play harder.  Or is it the fans will drink longer?  I don't remember.

LSU will look really good on paper in 2012, but Alabama is just too good.  They win yet another epic battle with the Tigers.

'Bama 13 LSU 9

November 10 -- Texas A&M -- TUSCALOOSA

Bill Curry's crimson Alabama sweater will be retired at halftime of this game versus the Aggies to commemorate his decision to not allow his team to fly to College Station in 1988 because a hurricane was a comin'.  The hurricane never made it to College Station and the game was moved to the week following the Iron Bowl. This was a time before conference championship games, so die-hard traditionalists vomited at the notion of a regular season game being played after the Auburn game.

Truth be known, these same die-hard traditionalists hated everything Bill Curry did.  If he prayed for a sick child, they berated the way he said Amen. Had Bear Bryant made the same decision about not flying to College Station, he would have been given a medal of honor for his courage and life-saving decisions under such duress.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah.  Alabama and A&M play for the first time as conference foes.  Should be a good one.  Honestly, could be one of those games where the 'Tide is out of gas after a big week in Baton Rouge .

'Bama 20 A&M 10

November 17 -- Western Carolina -- TUSCALOOSA

Brodie Croyle's torn ACL from 2004 is retired  before the game and Alabama wins by a field goal... and 5 touchdowns.

'Bama 38 WCU 0

November 24 -- Auburn -- TUSCALOOSA

Alabama scores 31 in the first half and cruises to victory. Trooper Taylor hurts himself when he tries to chest-bump one of his players, but his towel gets wrapped around his neck. He can't breath for 10 seconds as the medical staff had to come on the field and cut it from his stupid neck. 'Bama fans stand in amazement while Auburn fans high-five one another and say, "Classic Trooper! Yeah! Troop' is CRAY CRAY!"

'Bama 41 Aubie 6

December 1 -- Missouri -- ATLANTA -- SEC CHAMPIONSHIP

Missouri fans get lost on the way to Atlanta and end up in Memphis.  The detour becomes a double-edge win for the Tiger fans.  For one, Alabama ends up smashing Missouri and renaming the Georgia Dome, "Bryant-Denny Dome." Mizzou fans also see that Missouri's not really that bad of a place to live after sitting in Memphis all weekend.

I kid, Memphis folk.  I kid.  I love Memphis. Arkansas is lucky to have you.

'Bama 48 Mizzou 20








[caption id="attachment_705" align="alignright" width="266" caption="This is where Oklahoma State proves they didn't belong in this year's championship game anymore than they deserved to be in last year's. "][/caption]




January 7 -- Oklahoma State -- MIAMI -- BCS CHAMPIONSHIP

Alabama and Oklahoma State are the two teams that may get as much credit as anyone for getting the powers that be to consider a Plus-One/Final Four championship format. What seemed to be a pipe dream -- college football playoffs -- suddenly became a must-have after a large portion of the country thought Oklahoma State deserved a shot at then-No. 1 LSU rather than Alabama.  There was a also a large contention that believed 'Bama and LSU were the two best teams and matching-up the two best teams is what the BCS was designed to do.  This writer subscribed to the latter contention's theory.

Both contentions were right, so the only solution appears to be some form of a final four format.

Now, the two teams get to meet in Miami for the national championship in a season where, for the first time in a very long time, fans will be Googling a school to remember their conference affiliation.

When all is said and done, 2012 may be one of the most overlooked seasons in the history of college football due to the limbo many teams and conferences continue to find themselves in.

[caption id="attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="You're a man? You're 40? Oh, wow. Good for you. *Wink*"][/caption]

The confusion and limbo will not keep 'Bama fans from proudly waving a 15th national title banner no more than it did in 2011 when Oklahoma State said they deserved a shot at LSU because they hadn't lost to the Tigers yet. Nice case there, Cowboys, but you had lost to IOWA STATE.

I digress.

Oklahoma State will be all about revenge in this championship game and Nick Saban will say, "Revenge? We didn't play them last year, did we?"

Alabama will have to make room for yet another championship. Like last year, Saban will lift the BCS crystal ball in a place where he has past ties.  Last year it was New Orleans in front of LSU fans and now it will be in Miami in the stadium where he and his Dolphins called home or two years.

The four Dolphin fans that actually live in the Dade County area will be livid and Ozzie Guillen will be suspended for 10 years by Major League Baseball after yet another uproar from fans for his praise of Nick Saban's leadership.

'Bama 37 Oklahoma State 24

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