The Tigers’ mauling of the Tide was one of the worst defeats in coach Nick Saban’s tenure.
The question looming for Alabama in 2019 is can it rebound from the beating and get back to the playoffs and possibly the national title game? All-universe quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returns, as do several key playmakers, giving Alabama plenty of firepower on what was already a record-setting offense in 2018. The Tide will have to shore up a few positions on the offensive front, however.
The defense also lost more than half of the starters, meaning the Tide will have to reload on that side of the ball, as well. Along with those departures, five assistant coaches also left the Capstone.
August 31 vs. Duke (Atlanta, GA)
September 7 vs. New Mexico State
September 14 at South Carolina
September 21 vs. Southern Miss
September 28 vs. Ole Miss
October 12 at Texas A&M
October 19 vs. Tennessee
October 26 vs. Arkansas
November 9 vs. LSU
November 16 at Mississippi State
November 23 vs. Western Carolina
November 30 at Auburn
But as most pundits will point out, Alabama under Saban just reloads and continues winning with his process. It doesn’t hurt that Alabama’s out-of-conference schedule looks less daunting than most seasons, giving the team plenty of time to get ready for a possible tough road test at Texas A&M in early October.
One thing that Alabama won’t boast this year is a solid backup in case the injury bug bites Tagovailoa again, because former quarterback Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma in the offseason.
Alabama hasn’t lost more than one game in a season since 2014 and the 2019 slate looks prime for the streak to continue. LSU might be the only team that could be favored against Alabama, but the game is in Tuscaloosa this season.
Odds are Alabama will reach the playoffs for a sixth-consecutive season and could possibly end up meeting Clemson in the finals for a third-straight year. However, the other side of the coin says that someday all those losses of players going early to the draft and coaches to other schools might catch up with the Tide.