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Game-by-game predictions for Alabama football's 2023 season
By AJ Spurr,
Alabama football had a disappointing season by the Crimson Tide’s standards. With an 11-2 record and a win over a conference champion in the Sugar Bowl, the season wasn’t a success in the eyes of many because the team failed to reach the College Football Playoff.
Winning championships is expected at Alabama. Though the Tide didn’t get an opportunity to compete for one last season, 2023 is right around the corner.
The schedule may not be the easiest, but that might be to the benefit of Alabama. There’s a chance the Tide begin the 2023 season outside of the top-four teams in the country, which means Alabama must convincingly win games over quality opponents to move up in the rankings and earn a bid to the College Football Playoff.
In order to make it to the postseason, Alabama must first get through the regular season. Here are predictions for all 12 games the Crimson Tide will play in 2023.
Middle Tennessee (Sept. 2)
Expected to be a contender in Conference USA in 2023, Middle Tennessee isn’t afraid of taking on big-name teams. As seen last year, Middle Tennessee defeated the Mario Cristobal-led Miami Hurricanes by two touchdowns on the road. The offense has lost some key contributors like quarterback Chase Cunningham; and the defense took. hit in losing Jordan Ferguson. This game will be interesting because it is essentially the first time the nation will get to see a new-look Crimson Tide offense and defense. Expect Nick Saban to try and make a statement to open the season.
Prediction: Alabama 56, Middle Tennessee 13
Texas (Sept. 9)
After an intense game that went down to the wire last season in Austin, the Longhorns will travel to Tuscaloosa to avenge the 2022 loss. Quinn Ewers looked stellar to open the game, but suffered an injury early against the Crimson Tide. Steve Sarkisian also brought in highly-coveted quarterback Arch Manning. This game will be loaded with question marks at multiple positions for both programs and offers practically two new teams than the ones that played last season.
Prediction: Alabama 41, Texas 35
@ USF (Sept. 16)
In the first installment of a unique home-and-home series against the University of South Florida, Alabama will travel to Tampa to take on the Bulls. These two teams have only met once before in 2003 and the Crimson Tide won 40-17. In 2022, USF went 1-11 and not many of those losses were close. This one will likely get out of hand quickly.
Prediction: Alabama 62, USF 3
Ole Miss (Sept. 23)
Last season in Oxford, Kiffin’s Ole Miss team kept it close. The game was tied heading into the fourth quarter, but the Crimson Tide ended up pulling away and won by six points. Jaxson Dart was a serviceable starter, but may not be the Rebels’ quarterback moving forward, as Kiffin landed two quarterback transfers from other Power Five programs. With this game being relatively early in the season, there’s a chance Ole Miss is still figuring out its 2023 identity.
Prediction: Alabama 35, Ole Miss 24
@ Mississippi State (Sept. 30)
After the tragic passing of head coach Mike Leach, Zach Arnett takes over as Mississippi State’s head coach and will have his work cut out for him. Many questions loom all over the Bulldogs’ offense. State is put in an awkward position here. In 2022, Mississippi State quietly finished third in the SEC West behind LSU and Alabama. Not many would expect the same result for 2023.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Mississippi State 13
@ Texas A&M (Oct. 7)
Last season, this matchup was must-see television. There was tension between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher and the Crimson Tide were looking to avenge a 2021 loss. Well, the game was an interesting one. Jalen Milroe was the starting quarterback for the Tide while Bryce Young was sidelined with an injury. This game could be a tossup, as the Aggies‘ highly-coveted 2022 recruiting class has a year under their belt. However, it’s expected to go the way of the Crimson Tide.
Prediction: Alabama 44, Texas A&M 27
Arkansas (Oct. 14)
KJ Jefferson returns for the Razorbacks in 2023, but it may not matter all too much in this contest. Alabama won last year’s meeting 49-26 on the road in Fayetteville. This time around, the game is played in Tuscaloosa. Sam Pittman loves to put up a fight and keep things interesting against Alabama, but it’s hit or miss.
Prediction: Alabama 38, Arkansas 21
Tennessee (Oct. 21)
This is likely going to be the matchup every SEC fan has circled on their calendar. Snapping an Alabama winning streak that dated back to 2006, the Tennessee Volunteers upset the Crimson Tide in Neyland stadium in 2022. Now, the two will meet in Tuscaloosa. Will it result in the beginning of a winning streak for Tennessee, or does Alabama get to smoke some cigars on the Third Saturday in October?
Prediction: Alabama 48, 41
LSU (Nov. 4)
LSU‘s win over Alabama in 2022 was unexpected. However, this game, like others from this list, will be played in Tuscaloosa. Brian Kelly will look to win the West for the second time in two seasons. In order to silence Crimson Tide critics that argue LSU is ready to take over Alabama, this is a must-win matchup.
Prediction:Alabama 27, LSU 17
@ Kentucky (Nov. 11)
Though Will Levis has left for the NFL, the Wildcats bring in another transfer quarterback to take his place. Former NC State quarterback Devin Leary is ready to take on the SEC and will be truly tested late in the season. The matchup will be in Lexington, but Alabama is still likely to walk away with the win.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Kentucky 14
Chattanooga (Nov. 18)
Last season, the Mocs of Chattanooga went 7-4. The team did play one Power Five team, Illinois, and lost 31-0. In 2023, they will travel to Tuscaloosa and might have a similar experience.
Prediction: Alabama 52, Chattanooga 3
Auburn (Nov. 25)
The 2023 Iron Bowl is not expected to be a matchup that has playoff implications on the line for both programs. New Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze has a history in the SEC and has experience in defeating Nick Saban-led Alabama teams. However, the talent gap between the two teams this season is too great for the Tigers to overcome.