Will a weak early-season schedule hurt Alabama?

Alabama’s tendency to line up uncompetitive games with unpopular opponents has been mocked over the years, but the show has largely stuck to what works. This season, that means this Alabama team still has a lot to show as we head into October.

Alabama opened the season against Utah State, winning 55-0, and the Crimson Tide beat Louisiana-Monroe 63-7 last Saturday. In the middle was a road game in Texas, a much more competitive one-point win than anyone expected – especially after Longhorns full-back Quinn Ewers left the game early. In November, Alabama’s last unorganized game will be against Austin Peay in a pre-Iron Bowl game.

On Saturday, Alabama was the 40.5-point favorite ahead of Vanderbilt. While the Commodores have had a good start this season, they still haven’t held the SEC’s best candle. It’s not Alabama’s fault that lowly Vandy is its first SEC opponent, but it could have an impact down the line.

Alabama looks like an untested team against Texas, and that could be a concern when the Crimson Tide faces Arkansas next weekend. Last season, Nick Saban’s team barely got past the Razorbacks at home a week after a 59-3 win over New Mexico State.

An Alabama team that has played the last few games in 2021 will face the Razorbacks on the road this time, two weeks before hitting the road against an impressive Tennessee strike.

If the Crimson Tide slipped in one of these tough SEC games, Louisiana-Monroe and Vanderbilt could be part of the reason.

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