With Paul Finebaum’s prediction of 7-5 for the 2007 Crimson Tide, I decided to look at the schedule and compare notes. Here goes:

Sept. 1: Western Carolina —Win.

Sept. 8: at Vanderbilt —Win

Sept. 15: Arkansas —Win; however, Houston Nutt is a good coach and Arkansas is always dangerous.

Sept. 22: Georgia—Loss

Sept. 29: Florida State (at Jacksonville, Fla.)—Win. I’m not convinced FSU will be much improved in 2007. Bowden looks to have lost it. Will the addition of a new offensive staff help? Possibly. The FSU defense was stout, but this game would’ve been a toss up in my mind even with Shula at the helm.

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Oct. 6: Houston —Win.

Oct. 13: at Ole Miss—It’s Ole Miss. It’s a win.

Oct. 20: Tennessee—Tennessee beat Alabama last year, but it was a game most Alabama teams would’ve won. The game plan going into the game was solid; however, Alabama couldn’t pass protect and couldn’t hold a lead in the fourth quarter because it couldn’t run the ball. The toughness problems should be handled. And unless Fulmer works some miracle, Tennessee will be much the same team that lost its bowl match-up and struggled to beat Alabama. Tennessee’s offense was better last season; however, I’m not convinced Tennessee has recaptured its magic. Besides, Fulmer’s washed up as a coach. His last SEC championship was further away than Mike Dubose’s. BTW, some point to the Miss St. loss as when Shula really landed on the hotseat; however, many people will tell you it was the Tennessee game, lost in typical Shula fashion which sped an end to Shula’s career. Win.

Nov. 3: LSU—LOSS. LSU will be the class of the west. They should compete for the division despite needing to replace many cogs on offense, including their QB.

Nov. 10: at Mississippi State—Win. Saban won’t lose (many) games to pathetic teams.

Nov. 24: at Auburn—Tommy Tuberville is overrated as a coach. However, Auburn has plenty of depth and despite one of the worst coaching jobs in memory (against Alabama in Tuscaloosa) Tuberville’s team found a way to win. The game will be close, and who knows what could happen if a few breaks go the Tide’s way (think blowout win, because Tuberville has a way of laying down for big rivals), but all things being equal, Auburn should extend its streak. LOSS.

I’d anticipate a 9-3 record if everything went well. What concerns me about predicting a win in the Tennessee game is the interior defense. If Alabama can’t stop the run, and control the line of scrimmage, then Alabama won’t beat Tennessee and will have a difficult time staying on the field with Arkansas. IF the defense doesn’t improve, then 6-6 would be a projection.

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