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Column: Alabama must score more points than most expect to defeat Michigan

Sports in Paradise
by Dale Jones

By Dale Jones

In the mornings there is a hint of fall in the air, in the afternoons one can hear the sounds of bass drums and coaches whistles, and out in the Gulf of Mexico, there is a hurricane churning. All of this can only mean one thing to those of us who live in Alabama – football season is here.

Football fans in this state have lots to be proud of over the past three years. Collectively, the last three national championships have gone to Alabama and Auburn. Two of the last three Heisman Trophies have gone to Alabama and Auburn players (Ingram and Newton). As we head into the 2012 season, the Tide holds the top spot is some polls and the Tigers hope to be much improved after a 2011 season where Auburn played a ton of true freshmen.

As usual, in my fall column, I will breakdown of some of the important SEC games, look at other in-state teams, and will take a glimpse at a few games of national interest. Also, each week, I will pick the “upset of the week.” It should be another fun season so let’s get started.

UAB vs Troy
One of the most positive things to happen to UAB football recently took place on December 4 of last year when the Blazers announced Garrick McGee would be their new head coach. On paper, I want to give the advantage to Troy, but I think UAB fans will turn out in huge fashion to help the new Blazers get the job done. UAB 28 – Troy 24

South Alabama vs. Texas-San Antonio
Coach Joey Jones, still in the process of building the Jags football program has a real schedule this season, featuring the likes of Mississippi State and North Carolina State. Kind of difficult to see how good this team is going to be, but I like their chances out of the gate. South Alabama 24 – Texas-San Antonio 17

Tennessee vs. NC State
As strange as it may seem, this game could come down to which teams’ secondary has the best game. Personally, I think it is going to be a long season for the Vols. NC State 24 – Tennessee 14

Georgia vs. Buffalo
The Bulldogs are going to be very good this year. This is just a warm-up game for Richt and company. Georgia 45 – Buffalo 14

Kentucky @ Louisville
Normally, during the first week of football season, most Kentucky fans are already looking forward to hoops season. This year will likely be no exception. The Wildcats are young with just a few returning starters from last season. Their SEC schedule is going to be tough. So is their opener.
Louisville 17 – Kentucky 14

Arkansas vs. Jacksonville State
There will be few times this season that I will be inclined to pick Arkansas to lose. They could be a surprise to all in the SEC West. Bama better keep this team circled on their schedule. Arkansas 38 – Jacksonville State 13

Missouri vs. Southeastern Louisiana
Missouri better enjoy their non-conference schedule because their “welcome” to the SEC could get ugly. Missouri 31 – Southeastern Louisiana 3

Auburn vs. Clemson
Provided Auburn has any players left by the weekend who have not been suspended, they might have a chance to win. With new coordinators and a little more experience on both sides of the ball, Auburn should be improved, but this game will not be a cakewalk. Auburn 27 – Clemson 24

Alabama vs. Michigan
While Bama is loaded on the offensive line, that is not where this game will be won. If the Alabama defense, who lost some key players from last year’s squad, can stop Denard Robinson, they will cruise to victory. If they can’t, this game could be closer than Tide fans want. Alabama will have to score a lot to win. Alabama 42 – Michigan 35

Other Games of Interest:
Texas A&M 28 – Louisiana Tech 21
Florida 42 – Bowling Green 14
LSU 48 – North Texas 7
USC 52 – Hawaii 10

Upset of the Week:
South Carolina at Vandy
Both teams have quality skill players coming back from a year ago. I like both coaches. I think both teams will be as good, if not better than last season. But I am very impressed with Coach James Franklin and the atmosphere he has brought to this Vandy team. Look for the Commodores to score a big win against the ole ball coach. Vandy 28 – South Carolina 27

I hope your team comes out on top, and I would love to hear from readers as to how you think these games will turn out. Are you ready for some football?
Hit ‘em straight

—Dale Jones is a syndicated sports columnist, member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association, The Football Writers Association of America, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Email Dale at or on twitter @sportsNparadise.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your picks for this week’s games.

19 thoughts on “Column: Alabama must score more points than most expect to defeat Michigan”

  1. I’ll throw in my prediction since I made it this a.m. for a Michigan website who asked me my thoughts. I think it will be much like Va. Tech a few years ago. Alabama 27 Michigan 17. Close game with Alabama pulling away late.

  2. This writer is smoking some bad crack to think Michigan…or anybody…is going to score 35 points on this or any Nick Saban Alabama defense.

    The only way this happens is if the team leaves the stadium at the beginning of the 4th quarter.

    1. Only two teams have scored 35 or more against Bama in Nick Saban’s tenure: Arkansas, ’07 [38] in a win and South Carolina ’10 [35] in a loss.

  3. Bama has the athletes and discipline to get Robinson in check as the game progresses. The Bama OL will crush the Mich young DL as the game progresses. Robinson will keep it close early, but Borges will run out of tricks and the Mich D will wilt. Bama 38 -Mich 24. Bama will grind out the clock rather than score a final time.

    AU-Clempson? 27-24 looks about right. Either team could win. Both teams have “issues” and youth and new coordinators.

    1. Good on you Hoopie, that’s the most sense I have ever seen in one of your posts. There may hope for you yet. it sucks that they play at the same time though.

        1. Dood …I only flame about you biased rednecks on this blog. Nothing else. Notice that when I do flame I use your own words and actions to back up what I say.

          Unlike you fools ….I don’t my opponent team, fan base or university.

          Unlike you fools …I don’t let wild speculation and bias enter into my mind and cause me to make up lies and excuses to make things ..”how they ought to be”.

          Stop acting stoopid and I won’t have anything to flame about …and I’ll disappear.

  4. I am proud of TWO BCS trophies but I take no pride in the one won in 2010!!!! Is this guy crazy for writing that piece here???? HELP ITK!!!!!!

  5. Hate to pick this game. Already sent this dumbassed Awbie homer an email that hopefully melted his computer. Nobody scores 35 on Bama. But if Miss St could score 48 on them we can score 60. Will we? Tune in Saturday and find out. RTR!

  6. Hoopworm is as full of shit as usual. Wild expectations??? Certainly the expectations for a team who has won 2 out of the last 3 Nattys, gone 48-6 and been ranked #1 each of the last 4 years would seem wild to nearly any other fan base in the country. And when your dumbassed fans come on here and claim you’re gonna beat us – now that’s wild expectations. You people are the ones living in a delusional world – not us. Bama 48-17. RTR!

    1. I said “wild speculations” …as in ……You fools think that because some student is meeting with the ASHAA, that Auburn is cheating ….and that the black helicopters are circling Auburn.

      Although I can easily guess how you will feel about your team’s chances (win ’em all…every year) ….I could care less what you think about your team’s chances.

      I don’t comment on the University ..or the Alum ..or the football team. I comment on the biased irrational attitudes and discussion that the regular posters exhibit on this site. I use your own words to point out your problems.

      If you will actually read my post rather than …get angry after the first sentence …you might even realize that. I kow that is asking for you to engage in reading comprehension and that may be new to you. It would be good for you because it would broaden your horizons outside of your trailer park.

  7. Yeah I’m liking your predictions, me and a lot of other guys on the base. The rest of you bamers who think y’all have a holier than though coach, keep dreaming. They won’t be as good every year as they were last year. Keep talking shit about this writer too, that won’t help you one bit with your predictions. War Eagle!

  8. Don’t try to escape by making it look like I missed the point. I only referenced what I was interested in. Don’t come on here with that shit about us making something out of nothing. It’s not our fault your teams so fucked up right now that you’ll be lucky to have enough players to field a team. Gives us lots to speculate about. Exactly what you were doing last year over Kuandijo and Callaway and Yeldon and Collins, etc, etc, etc. Sucks when the shoe is on the other foot doesn’t it Barnie? RTR!

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