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Jumbo Package: Alabama’s 2024 schedule was announced, and it’s going to be a doozy

Gotta beat the best if you wanna be the best

NCAA Football: SEC Football Championship-Georgia at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, this is the big news for the day:

The SEC released the college football schedules for all 16 of its member schools Wednesday night, making official the Sept. 28 date for the much anticipated Georgia-Alabama matchup.

Also much anticipated is the arrival of Oklahoma and Texas to the conference. And while the Longhorns won’t face Alabama in the regular season, they do have a huge home game against Georgia (Oct. 19). Oklahoma doesn’t play Georgia but hosts Alabama on Nov. 23 in a game that could help decide which team makes the SEC championship game.

Aug. 31: vs. Western Kentucky

Sept. 7: vs. South Florida

Sept. 14: at Wisconsin

Sept. 21: Bye

Sept. 28: vs. Georgia

Oct. 5: at Vanderbilt

Oct. 12: vs. South Carolina

Oct. 19: at Tennessee

Oct. 26: vs. Missouri

Nov. 2: Bye

Nov. 9: at LSU

Nov. 16: vs. Mercer

Nov. 23: at Oklahoma

Nov. 30: vs. Auburn

Road games in Wisconsin, Tennessee, LSU, and Oklahoma monster of a travel schedule, plus throw in Missouri (assuming they are still good and 2023 was not a fluke) and another showdown with Georgia, and you have an absolutely brutal schedule for the Tide.

And then don’t forget South Florida, who was very nearly the team that ended Nick Saban’s career this season if you paid attention to the headlines.

It’s not all bad, though. Bye weeks before Georgia and LSU are nice, and it breaks the schedule pretty closely into thirds. Auburn is at home, and the Tide moves on from the annually dangerous Ole Miss and Arkansas matchups in favor of Vandy and South Carolina. I will continue to maintain that it’s just not right for Alabama to not be playing Mississippi State, though.

“Right now, those are the top two programs in the sport, whatever order you have them in is perfectly fine,” SEC Network analyst and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy said on the broadcast. “I personally might not always agree with the order that some have it in. I still think Alabama and Georgia are neck and neck. I might lean toward Bama ever so slightly.

This quote from McElroy just goes to show how fickle “narratives” are in college football. For the last 23 months, we’ve heard nothing but coronations of Georgia having firmly supplanted Alabama as THE team in college football as Nick Saban had “lost his fastball.” That sentiment was uttered so often that, in hindsight, was yet again an attempt to manifest the desires of the nation.

And all it took was one game that, to be honest, was pretty evenly matched, and now all of a sudden the two programs are neck and neck again?

Oh, a former Michigan player picking Michigan to win? Shocker. Can’t blame him, I guess.

But saying it’s “not the 2010’s anymore” is just laughable. Lets look at the 2020s:

  • Jan 1st, 2020: Alabama blows out Michigan, 35-16
  • 2020 season: Alabama wins National Championship while Michigan lost twice as many games as they won.
  • 2021: Michigan blown out by Georgia 34-11 in first round of playoffs, Alabama advances to the Championship
  • 2022: Michigan gives up 51 points and loses to TCU, the worst CFP playoff team in the entire playoff era.

Soooo, uh, it may not be the 2010s anymore, but, if we’re being frank, Michigan better hope it doesn’t go like the rest of the 2020’s have for them so far.

Alabama is doing its best to flip 4-star running back and Miami commit Kevin Riley by having him visit Tuscaloosa this weekend.

Riley is a native of Northport (Ala.) Tuscaloosa County. The 247Sports Composite ranks him as the No. 4 RB and No. 8 prospect out of Alabama in the 2024 class. He comes in at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds.

The Hurricanes have had a verbal pledge from Riley since June. Miami recently lost some depth at running back after Donald Chaney Jr. hit the portal.

Looking at Alabama’s current seniors and likely NFL departures on the same depth chart with the 2024 signing class, and Nick Saban seems to be filling all of the depth holes pretty well. EXCEPT at running back, where, barring Jase McClellan or Roydell Williams returning for a super senior season, the Tide will have only 3 backs on scholarship.

So I expect there’s an all-out recruiting effort on Kevin Riley, the Tuscaloosa native. There’s also the 230-lb freak athlete, Daniel Hill, out of Meridian, MS right down the road who is an uncommitted target still out there.

For more recruiting gossip, Brett Greenburg from 247 put out a really nice collection of thoughts and rumors around Alabama recruiting ahead of the start of the National Signing Period.

Alabama could still sign two more EDGE prospects. Alabama appears to be in good position to sign at least one of four-star Solomon Williams (Tampa, FL) and four-star Jayshawn Ross (Kansas City, MO). Nick Saban visited with Williams at his home on Tuesday night. His recruitment is down to Alabama, Oregon and Texas. The Crimson Tide were Williams’ leader this summer and continue to be in a good spot. It is unclear the exact day Williams will be signing, but it is expected to be during the Early Signing Period. Bama247 is working to learn more on Williams’ thoughts

Give the whole article a read - there’s more than I can quote and talk about.

In short, recruiting has been a bit quiet for Alabama since the summer, but we could have some fireworks in the next couple of weeks.

Roll Tide!