The 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide will look to bounce back after back to back loses to end the 2013 season. The Tide lost in dramatic fashion to Auburn in the Iron Bowl by having a field goal try returned on them for a game winning touchdown with one second left. They then followed that up with a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. The Tide will have to regroup after falling short of winning three straight national titles.
The key loss for the Crimson Tide in 2014 will be star quarterback A.J. McCarron. McCarron was one of the best quarterbacks in the history of Alabama football. He led them to the 2011 and 2012 national championship and in doing so became a legend in the state of Alabama. The key of the 2014 season for Alabama is to find some productivity from the quarterback position after a great career from McCarron.
The key returning player for Alabama will be running back T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon will be the featured player in the 2014 Alabama offense and will be asked to carry most of the load. He made major strides in 2013, but will now become the star player on offense for the Tide. In order for the Tide to be a serious national title contender in 2014 Yeldon will have to rush for around 1,500 yards in my estimation. It is a tall task, but with the history of Nick Saban and his explosive running game it is very possible.
The 2014 Crimson Tide will open their season with a key out of conference game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. This game will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, August, 30 and will be one of the biggest games of week one. A win for the Tide would do wonders for their confidence by showing they can beat a team from a big time conference like the Big 12 with a young quarterback.
Two key games during the SEC portion of the Tide’s schedule will be the game at LSU on Saturday, November 8. These games always have a feeling of two teams engaging in battle like few others can provide in the game of college football. This game being on the road for a young team will be crucial for Alabama and may prove to be Alabama’s toughest game of the 2014 season.
The next key game is the Iron Bowl against the Auburn Tigers. As I mentioned earlier, last year’s Iron Bowl was one of the best in this rivalries' history and both teams are expected to be contenders again in 2014. The game being played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama will help the Tide’s cause, but Auburn is expected to be even better in 2014 with a year of experience under Gus Malzahn’s system. A win for the Tide in this game would be a nice stepping stone in the right direction and depending on how the rest of the season goes a ticket to the first ever final four of college football.
Here is a look at the entire 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide schedule
Saturday, August, 30- West Virginia Mountaineers (in Atlanta, Georgia)
Saturday, September, 6- Florida Atlantic Owls
Saturday, September, 13- Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
Saturday, September, 20- Florida Gators
Saturday, September, 27- No Game
Saturday, October, 4- at Ole Miss Rebels
Saturday, October, 11- at Arkansas Razorbacks
Saturday, October, 18- Texas A&M Aggies
Saturday, October, 25- at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, November, 1- No Game
Saturday, November, 8- at LSU Tigers
Saturday, November, 15- Mississippi State Bulldogs
Saturday, November, 22- Western Carolina Catamounts
Saturday, November, 29- Auburn Tigers