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Steve’s Summer Size-Up: No. 3, Alabama Crimson Tide

steve's summer size up bama

Throughout the summer, we will be analyzing each of Ole Miss’ 12 opponents for the 2015 season and sizing up how difficult the game will be in relationship to the strength of schedule.

We will take the teams in order of meeting date in an attempt to better inform our fanbase what to realistically anticipate going into this new season.

Opponent No. 3: Alabama Crimson Tide, Sept. 19

  • SEC West member
  • 2014 record: 12-2
  • Difficulty Ranking: 1st
  • Head coach: Nick Saban (91-17, 8 seasons)
  • Colors: crimson, white
  • Bryant-Denny Stadium capacity: 101,821
  • 2014 SEC Results: 8-1 (Winner of SEC West; lost to Ole Miss 23-17)

 

Forecast: Make no mistake, this will be the most difficult game of the year for BOTH TEAMS! Unless Bama gets derailed in the opener with Wisconsin, Game Day will be headed to Tuscaloosa on my birthday (September 19). Whoever prevails in this contest will then be the odds-on-favorite to go to the SEC championship game. Bama will be waiting for the Rebels more so than their usual focus. The loss last year in Oxford did not set well with their fan base and because this is the SEC opener for both teams, the emphasis will be over the top. The strength of this year’s Tide squad is definitely the DL. Ole Miss will face many difficulties in running the ball as will Bama versus the Rebel defenders. Bama’s offense is without nine of 11 starters from a year ago, however, Derrick Henry (6-3, 242) will be the feature running back. The QB is up for grabs with Jake Coker (Sr.) as the lead candidate. The primary pieces missing from the offense are star receiver Amari Cooper and the school’s No. 4 all-time leading rusher, T.J. Yeldon. Last year’s defensive unit was 6th nationally in preventing points!

Conclusion: Bama should be favorite going in, but not by many. For Ole Miss to defeat this rival in consecutive years is asking a lot, but not impossible. Defensively, Bama has a slight edge. Offensively, Ole Miss has a slight edge. The home field advantage is huge! In attempting to predict the outcome, I turned to someone who actually defeated Alabama once upon a time while wearing an Ole Miss uniform: Hoppy Langley. After considerable thought, Hoppy gives his prediction below. For all us Rebels, let’s hope he’s right!

Our score prediction: Ole Miss 31, Alabama 21 (Ole Miss 3-0)

Next Week: Vanderbilt


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Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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