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2021 SEC Football Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

2021 SEC Football Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

2020 Recap

2021 SEC Football Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide
2020 Schedule

2020 Record: 13-0

1st in the West

It was another banner year for the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban won his sixth National Title with Alabama and second perfect season. The 2020 team went largely unchallenged throughout the year which held true for their two games in the playoffs.

The defense only slipped up in a couple games and did more than enough throughout the year thanks to a juggernaut offense. Alabama averaged 48.5 points per game, nearly 10 points higher than the next best in the SEC. The Tide had 10 players taken in the draft, including seven from that offense.

2021 Outlook

Depleted Offense

It goes without saying at this point but Alabama will once again have to replace most of the team from last year’s championship roster. Those seven draft picks took the top two receiving targets, the running back, the quarterback and three offensive linemen. Not to mention one of those receivers won the Heisman Trophy.

2021 SEC Football Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide
John Metchie (Photo by

The good news is, the highest rated offensive player in the 2020 class is ready to take over. Bryce Young will start the next chapter in the Nick Saban era this fall. He should be just another gun slinging, Heisman potential, eventual first-round draft pick for Saban. Though don’t necessarily expect that right out the gate.

He still has arguably the conference’s best returning receiver in John Metchie. Metchie’s season got overlooked last year in the shadow of a couple Heisman Finalists but the junior filled the shoes of injured Jaylen Waddle in a big way. He finished with 916 yards, most among returning receivers, and six scores.

Running back should also be secure this year after Najee Harris’s departure, shocking. Brian Robinson Jr. earned Third Team All-SEC honors and should pick up nicely where he left off last season. The Crimson Tide never has a shortage of running backs and Robinson looks to be the next in the rotation.

Improved Defense

Not that the defense needed much improvement. But it looks like it’ll be the SEC’s finest this year. The most shining parts of that defense will be at linebacker. The Alabama trio were all voted to First Team All-SEC. Tennessee transfer Henry To’o To’o led the Vols in tackles last year. Christian Harris led the Tide in tackles and Will Anderson Jr. was second on the team in tackles for a loss.

In the secondary the Tide is also going to be stronger despite missing the No.9 overall pick in Patrick Surtain. A pair of First Team All-SEC studs hold down an experienced secondary. Malachi Moore led the team in interceptions last year and should lead the group. Josh Jobe compliments him nicely with a team leading 11 defended passes in 2020.

The weakest part of the defense might be the defensive line. That being said, the defensive line might still be the best in the country. This unit is loaded with experience as well with the likes of Phidarian Mathis, LaBryan Ray and DJ Dale. There’s plenty of depth as well which makes this group a nightmare for offensive fronts.


Yeah it’s gonna be another year of Alabama in the playoffs. The only hope for the haters is that Bryce Young performs like a freshman (even thought he’s not), and the offense is flawed and has to be one dimensional. Even if that does happen, this defense is probably enough.

The Tide’s defense on paper looks like one of the best we’ve seen in a while in the sport. For a team that usually has a lot of pieces to replace, this year has a lot of returning faces. They’re experienced and going to be among the best in the country again. That alone might be enough to put them in the playoffs.

It’s hard to see who can keep them from another SEC Championship and playoff berth. The best nonconference team is Miami and that’s just not going to happen. Perhaps they lose the SEC Championship but even if they do, a 1 loss Alabama team still puts themselves in prime position for another title. Time will tell.



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