Alabama finished last season as the SEC champion by beating Georgia, but lost to the same Georgia team in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
What does the 2022 football season have in store for the Crimson Tide?
Recently, the Football Power Index prediction engine worked to calculate Alabama’s odds of winning every game on its schedule.
Week 1: vs. Utah State
Not much risk here for the Tide, who shouldn’t have much trouble against the visiting Aggies, but this opponent is a team on the rise.
Utah State went 11-3 in Blake Anderson’s first outing, finishing No. 24 in the AP Top 25 rankings, and beat Oregon State in a bowl game.
ESPN FPI win probability: 99.2%
Week 2: in Texas
According to the FPI computers, this should be Alabama’s toughest game of the season. It comes on the road, on campus, against a major power in college football, albeit one that hasn’t been a national threat for a long time.
Not since Alabama and Texas met in the Rose Bowl in the BCS national title game, Nick Saban’s first championship with the Tide. Since then, Alabama has done nothing but up, and Texas has gone nowhere but down.
Texas has a solid 1-2 punch at receiver and running back, but puts in an unproven product at quarterback in Quinn Ewers, and has a defensive unit that has struggled in all phases of the one years ago.
Odds of winning ESPN FPI: 75.3%
Week 3: vs. Louisiana Monroe
Don’t lose any sleep on the Week 3 date with the Warhawks, who are coming off a four-win season in 2021, a slight improvement from last year’s 0-10 outing.
Monroe beat the Tide at Bryant-Denny in Nick Saban’s first year on the Bama sideline, but he bounced back with a 34-0 win in 2015. Expect more of that second meeting as a template for this one.
ESPN FPI win probability: 99.8%
Week 4: vs. Vanderbilt
First-year head coach Clark Lea inherited an uproar last year, and as strange as it sounds, the Commodores’ 0-8 SEC mark in 2021 is actually an improvement (Si Vandy went 0-9 in conference in 2020).
Vanderbilt allowed just under 16 points per game a year ago and this defense allowed nearly 40 points every time it went out against SEC opposition.
Odds of winning ESPN FPI: 99.3%
Week 5: at Arkansas
The surprise of the SEC West last season, Arkansas beat three ranked teams and knocked off Penn State by two TDs in the bowl game.
And the Tide played close, too, walking off Bryant-Denny on the wrong end of a seven-point game a year ago.
KJ Jefferson returns at quarterback, but loses star receiver Treylon Burks, and the Hogs defense returns just four expected returning starters.
ESPN FPI win probability: 88%
Week 6: vs. Texas A&M
Jimbo Fisher recruited this program into College Football Playoff contention, but it could still lose on any given Saturday.
Last season was proof of that, as the Aggies defeated both No. 1 Alabama but still lost four other SEC West games, including to Ole Miss by 10 last November.
A&M comes to T-Town to try its luck again in a major matchup that will find both of these teams undefeated and looking to get an important leg-up in the standings in division.
ESPN FPI win probability: 90.9%
Week 7: at Tennessee
You can set your watch on Alabama beating Tennessee on the third Saturday in October and light cigars in the locker room afterward.
Josh Heupel exceeded expectations in Year 1, especially with quarterback Hendon Hooker driving an offense ranked No. 9 in college football a year ago.
But the Vols’ defensive back seven is a work in progress after allowing 34 points per game against SEC opposition last fall.
ESPN FPI win probability: 88.1%
Week 8: vs. Mississippi State
Bama’s defense had no problem grounding the so-called Air Raid in last year’s meeting, a 49-9 beatdown amid a cowbell chorus.
MSU lost its leading receiver from that unit, but the Bulldogs also return eight starters to a defense that ranked No. 4 in the SEC and allowed less than 6 yards per game in conference games.
Will Rogers returns at quarterback after amassing nearly 5,000 yards with 36 touchdowns last season.
ESPN FPI win probability: 92.8%
Week 9: at LSU
Arguably the biggest question mark in the SEC, if not college football, this season. Brian Kelly started a program long on potential, but short on results.
LSU has solid perimeter speed, but big questions at defensive back, offensive line, and quarterback, and yes, at the head coach.
Kelly leaves Notre Dame as the winningest coach if not one that has also struggled against teams in the South (including Alabama, which beat the Irish in a BCS title game).
Odds of winning ESPN FPI: 81.5%
Week 10: at Ole Miss
The last time the Tide went to Oxford, it needed 63 points to come out with a win. Alabama doesn’t need that much this season, not what the numbers are to be a new-look Rebels offense.
Matt Corral is gone, along with running backs Henry Parrish Jr., Jerrion Ealy, and Snoop Conner and receivers Braylon Sanders and Dontario Drummond.
Ole Miss looked better on defense in ’21 and returns six starters, while it scored quarterback Jaxson Dart and running back Zach Evans on the transfer portal.
Odds of winning ESPN FPI: 82.5%
Week 11: vs. Austin Peay
The traditional late-season gimme brings the Governors to Tuscaloosa, sandwiched between a trip to Ole Miss and the home finale against Auburn.
Austin Peay was a 6-5 team a year ago, 6-0 in games when it scored at least 30 points. Don’t expect Bama’s starters to play much in this one or the Govs to score anywhere near 30 points.
ESPN FPI win probability: 99.8%
Week 12: vs. Auburn
Auburn’s defense will be missing the likes of Roger McCreary, Smoke Monday, and Zakoby McClain, and will need to fill some gaps and find depth under first-year coordinator Jeff Schmedding. . Last season’s unit was solid, allowing about three TDs per game.
Auburn can run the ball with Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, but will have to plug a new quarterback without Bo Nix and holes at receiver.
Amazing laundry list for a embattled head coach in Bryan Harsin, who had trouble winning more than the six games he did last season.
ESPN FPI win probability: 89.9%
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