The final month of the season will present the Crimson Tide with one of the toughest slates in the nation. Using the NCAA's evaluation of the upcoming opponents' win percentage, nobody in college football has a harder November ahead of them than Alabama. Here is the AP Top 25 (Week 9) and the rank of every team's future and past schedule.
This isn't exactly a new development. When we last looked at the future schedules at the end of September, Alabama was facing the toughest gauntlet of any Top Ten team. The levening influence of underwhelming conference foes such as Ole Miss and Tennessee is gone and each and every SEC opponent in November is a legitimate Top 25 unit.
Think of it this way, as of right now Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State have three total losses between them and each of those losses has been inflicted by one of the other two.
As we pointed out yesterday, we also have rooting interests in college football at large as part of our hopes to return to Glendale. If undefeated Oregon, Missouri and Michigan State fall, the Tide's chances of getting back into the BCS championship picture with one loss is that much greater.
Oregon faces the toughest challenge with a future schedule ranked 28th most difficult in the nation. That includes formidable Arizona and USC teams as well as unpredictable Oregon State, Washington and Cal units.
The next two weeks are critical for Missouri as they face the meat of their 38th ranked future schedule -- Nebraska and Texas Tech. From there it's the dregs of the Big XII for the rest of the way.
Michigan State, arguably the weakest of the three, has the easiest road ahead with the 82nd toughest future slate -- if they can survive October. The Spartans head to Iowa City on Saturday to face the tough Hawkeye squad. After their schedule littered with the underperformers of the Big Ten.