Here’s the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2009 football schedule. It just arrived in my inbox from the University.

Date Opponent Location

September 5 vs. Virginia Tech Atlanta (Georgia Dome)

September 12 Florida International Tuscaloosa

September 19 North Texas Tuscaloosa

September 26 Arkansas Tuscaloosa

October 3 at Kentucky Lexington

October 10 at Ole Miss Oxford

October 17 South Carolina Tuscaloosa

October 24 Tennessee Tuscaloosa

October 31 —Open Week—

November 7 LSU Tuscaloosa

November 14 at Mississippi State Starkville

November 21 Tennessee-Chattanooga Tuscaloosa

November 28 at Auburn Auburn

December 5 SEC Championship Game Atlanta

Headlining the schedule is the 2009 Chick-fil-A College Kickoff game. The Tide returns to Atlanta to face another ACC team. Last season the Tide played three games in the state of Georgia and in 2009 will attempt to make two trips to the state.

“It was a great atmosphere in the Georgia Dome to play the (Clemson) game,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban on Friday in reference to the Virginia Tech announcement. “It is great exposure for our football players and our football team. I believe that playing a non-conference opponent that has the national reputation, and will probably be a top 10 team next year like Virginia Tech, is certainly a challenge for our players and something for us to look forward to in the offseason. This will be the third year in a row that we have done a non-conference game at a neutral site to improve our schedule.”

It looks cramped as Alabama will play eight consecutive games before an open week. Coach Nick Saban has said in his experience a team needs a respite any time it plays six straight games. So while the schedule is favorable with home games against LSU and Tennessee, the consecutive games could be problematic if the Tide runs into lingering injuries.

A quick analysis would make the October 10 trip to Oxford to face the Ole Miss Rebels a key game; it could determine the SEC West.

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