College Football Picks: Alabama Crimson Tide Season Win Totals

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 6:14 PM GMT

College football odds makers have set the bar high for this year's Alabama Crimson Tide season win total, but where do we think the Tide's record will sit come the end of December? Let our predictions help you decide where to place your sports picks.

Alabama Regular Season Win Total

Over 11.0 (-135)

Under 11.0 (+105)

The Alabama Crimson Tide enters this season having won the last 2 BCS championships. They also were awarded the distinction of being the top rated team in the AP Poll just released this past week. The top billing heading into this season is no surprise, and it would be virtually impossible to make a case against the two time defending national champions. Nick Saban enters his 7th season as the head man in Tuscalloosa. In his first 6 seasons at Alabama his teams have gone 68-13 good for a remarkable .840 winning percentage. In that span the Tide has captured 3 national championships. After going 7-6 in his first year on the job Saban’s Alabama teams have gone 61-7 (.897) in the last 5 years.

When assessing a college football regular season win total there are several variables to be considered. None of which is more pertinent than evaluating the specified team’s schedule. Playing in the SEC is never going to be an easy task for any team. However, the Crimson Tide program has elevated itself into such an elite status over the last 4 seasons, that even playing in the SEC hasn’t been a deterrent in their pursuit of excellence. Alabama’s non-conference schedule includes games with Virginia Tech, Colorado State, Georgia State, and Chattanooga. With the exception of Virginia Tech those other 3 opponents hardly will present any kind of formidable challenge.

A potential big test will come in their 2nd game of the season versus Texas A&M at College Station. A lot will depend on whether last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Jonny Manziel will be eligible. The NCAA is currently investigating Manziel on allegations he accepted compensation in exchange for his autograph signing sessions. The Tide will be out to avenge its only blemish on its record last season after suffering a home 29-24 loss at the hands of the Aggies. The only other danger I see on the schedule is a home tilt versus LSU on November 9th. The Tigers last trip into Tuscaloosa in 2011 saw them pull of an upset 9-6 as a 5.5-point underdog. Alabama went on to revenge that loss later in the same season by defeating LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship Game. That marked the first of 3 national championships over the next 4 seasons.

Alabama returns 6 starters on offense and 7 on defense. As we have seen over the last 4 years losing starters for the Crimson Tide is nowhere near as damaging as it is for every other team in the country. Nick Saban is a master recruiter, and his team’s quality depth, including highly touted incoming freshmen over the last 4 seasons is second to none. One key member who does return is senior quarterback A.J. McCarron. McCarron has been the starting quarterback on the last 2 national championship teams and was the MVP of last season’s BCS Championship contest. McCarron enters this season as the nation’s active leader in pass efficiency. McCarron will have a stellar supporting cast with preseason 1st team All Americans running back T.J. Yeldon and wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Tide defense has two players in that same company with linebacker C.J. Mosley, and one of the best names in college football safety “Ha Ha” Clinton Dix.

It’s very rare you will see a college football odds boards offering a regular season win total this high but it’s as such for good reason. The chances of Alabama running the table in 2013 should be exceptionally good. The thought of them losing 2 regular season games seems unfathomable with all considered. Even though I won’t be placing my college football picks on this prop I would strongly advise to not go under 11 wins. It looks like another college football season of “Roll Tide Roll”.
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