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The Bocephus Album Cover Worry Index: Week One

Instead of doing this as a "season ahead" kind of thing like we did last year, I'm going to be doing it week by week since looking that far ahead and trying to determine my level of worry weeks in advance isn't much better than a fool's errand. For any new readers who are unfamiliar with the Bocephus Album Cover Worry Index, it's a measure of my anxiety over each week's opponent as personified by a specific Hank Williams Jr. album cover. The covers and explanations are as such:

Family Tradition
So confident and laid back that you might think I OD'd
I'm confident enough in our chances, but there's still a little bit of cause for all that Beam and the comforting arms of easy women.
Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
Pretty confident, but with a hint of concern shadowing my features
Strong Stuff
Certain that, much like crouching next to a dangerous mountain cat for a photo op, there's a chance, however slim, that if we make all the right moves we can walk away victorious. We could also end up a shredded bloody mess.
The Pressure Is On
Lunatic bravado in the face of certain doom

This week's worry level is:

I'm at least confident enough in our chances to think we have a chance, but that's all predicated on a few variables that pretty well all have to come through for us to survive and welcome Tulane at 1-0.

* The front seven, as inexperienced as they are, have to shut down Davis and Spiller and force Clemson to rely on Harper's downfield passing to win. I'm a lot more confident in our pass D this year than I was last year; we have a couple of good cover corners in Jackson and Arenas, and enough talent at safety and star to play solid downfield coverage so long as the front seven can get some decent pressure.

* That's kind of a tall order, though, since we weren't terribly good at rushing the passer last year. Having Cody and Chapman splitting time at NG, and with Deaderick, Washington, Greendwood, and Davis all splitting time at the DE spot, we have some decent depth and talent going in, so it's not entirely unreasonable to expect that we can improve from that standpoint.

* We have to improve offensively with ball control and not committing turnovers. A handful of third down conversions and a couple of fumbles taken back and the Tide was something special last season. If the new offensive approach can just eliminate the stagnation that bogged us down in critical stretches last season, then bringing in McElwain was the best thing Saban has done so far.

Those are the three biggest keys to the game in my mind, but overall we're going to have to play an almost perfect game to get away with this one. Fingers crossed, and Roll Tide.