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VOTE: Breaking Down Schedules: 2023 vs 2024

Which is tougher? VOTE in the polls.

Utah State vs Alabama
At least two more seasons of Isaiah Bond.
Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images

Immediately after the release of the 2024 SEC opponents, there was much consternation from Crimson Tide fans over the lot their team was cast. But upon closer inspection, the lineup of foes may not be too much harder than this year’s schedule.

Of course the order of the games is a big factor in determining the difficulty. That information will not be released until a later date.

The below 2024 dates marked with an asterisk (*) are hypothetical. However, the Iron Bowl will undoubtedly be the last Saturday of the regular season. Tennessee will be somewhere in the middle of October. And LSU will probably be early November. Even ESPN is not going to screw that up.

2023 2024
Week 2 Texas USF
Week 3 at USF at Wisconsin
Week 4 Ole Miss Missouri*
Week 5 at Mississippi State at Oklahoma*
Week 6 at Texas A&M at Vanderbilt*
Week 7 Arkansas Georgia*
Week 8 Tennessee at Tennessee*
Week 9 bye bye*
Week 10 LSU at LSU*
Week 11 at Kentucky South Carolina*
Week 12 Chattanooga Mercer
Week 13 at Auburn Auburn

2023 MTSU, at USF, Chattanooga or 2024 WKU, USF, Mercer

The dates for Weeks 1 thru 3 as well as Week 12 for then 2024 season are set in stone. The three cupcake games of each season cancel each other out. And before you start telling us about how good USF historically is, the Bulls have gone 4-29 overall and 1-29 against FBS teams over the last three seasons. And their head coach is a daggum Russian! Additionally, I am willing to bet there will be more crimson inside Raymond James Stadium than there will be green (they are green, right?).

Advantage: Even


Are you going to Bama-USF in Tampa?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (35 votes)
  • 75%
    (254 votes)
  • 14%
    (48 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now

2023 home vs Texas or 2024 at Wisconsin

Even though the Wisconsin game is on the road and Luke Fickell is their coach, it’s probably safe to say that these two games are even. Texas in Tuscaloosa this fall might actually be a little more scary than the Badgers in Madison. The Longhorns have had this game circled all off-season. By game time this fall, Alabama still may not know who their starting quarterback is.

Advantage: Even


What concerns you more?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Pisst off Texas in 2023.
    (234 votes)
  • 5%
    Playing at Wisky in 2024.
    (22 votes)
  • 11%
    Both equal.
    (48 votes)
  • 25%
    (106 votes)
410 votes total Vote Now

2023 at Auburn or 2024 home vs Auburn

Skipping down to Thanksgiving weekend is the Iron Bowl. Playing at Auburn has been a bit of a bugaboo for Nick Saban. Since taking the Alabama job, he is 4-4 in Jerdin Hair Stadium and the Tide had to go to four overtimes just to even that record in 2021. In addition, the only coach to beat Saban twice in back-to-back seasons, Hugh Freeze, is now the coach of the War Eagles. You know he will be saving up all his bag of tricks for this game. Aubie will be in full “New Coach Fever” mode.

In 2024, it’s back to Tuscaloosa for the IB where Saban is 7-1 against Auburn - 2010 vs. $cam Newton was the exception. In fact since that one loss, Bama has outscored Auburn 277-117 in Bryant Denny Stadium.

Advantage: 2024

2023 home LSU vs or 2024 at LSU

Jumping up to LSU, thankfully for Alabama the 2023 game is in Tuscaloosa. Jayden Daniels is still their quarterback but will likely be gone after this coming season. The assumption is that Garrett Nussmeier will stick around Red Stick and start in 2024. Saban led Bama teams play really well in Baton Rouge. Even last year’s loss went down to the final play. That defeat was the first by the Tide in the Bayou since that dreaded 2010 season (which still remains Saban’s only other loss in BR as Alabama’s coach).

So it comes down to Daniels in Bryant-Denny versus Nuss in Bryant-Denny South. For my money, they are even.

Advantage: Even


Which is more dangerous for Alabama?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Daniels in Bryant-Denny in 2023.
    (127 votes)
  • 27%
    Nuss in BR in 2024.
    (89 votes)
  • 32%
    (103 votes)
319 votes total Vote Now

2023 home vs Tennessee or 2024 at Tennessee

Next is Tennessee. The Vols had a transcendent season in 2022 in Josh Heupel’s second campaign as head coach. The thing is, he was playing with a lot of dudes that Jeremy Pruitt signed. He may stink as a head coach but whether it is above board or below, Pruitt put together some good classes for UT. Now many of those former JP recruits (QB Hendon Hooker, WR Jalin Hyatt, WR Cedric Tillman, OT Darnell Wright, etc.) are gone and the Vols are starting to get a mix of Pruitt and Heupel. Are the newer recruits any better? Worse? About the same? In addition, Heupel’s offensive coordinator took the head job at USF.

2023 will be a watershed season for the Volunteers as to whether this is who they are now or if last year was a mirage. This October, Alabama gets a chance for revenge on the Vols who this time will be without their 24-year old quarterback, Hendon Hooker. In his place will be 23-year old Joe Milton. Is he any better? Worse? About the same?

By 2024, sophomore-to-be/former 5-star QB Nico Iamaleava should be taking over (really good QB prospect but a smidge overrated IMHO).

So much is unknown about UT at this point that it is difficult to know which match-up with the Crimson Tide will be tougher. Let’s let the poll decide.

Advantage: ???


Tougher Bama-Tenn game:

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    2023 with Milton in T-town.
    (49 votes)
  • 48%
    2024 in Knox, another year removed from JP recruits.
    (159 votes)
  • 11%
    (39 votes)
  • 24%
    I have no idea.
    (80 votes)
327 votes total Vote Now

The Rest

That leaves us with a variety of SEC games that are hard to compare.

2023 2024
Week 4 Ole Miss Missouri*
Week 5 at Mississippi State at Oklahoma*
Week 6 at Texas A&M at Vanderbilt*
Week 7 Arkansas Georgia*
Week 8 Tennessee at Tennessee*
Week 11 at Kentucky South Carolina*

Since none of them are the same, let’s run down them one by one.


Ole Miss - 23-year QB old Spencer Sanders transferred in from Oklahoma State and he is not bad. Lane Kiffin can play-call and mold a quarterback but his defenses stink.

@ Mississippi State - There’s a new coach in Starkville and he is an unknown quantity. Even so, Saban has not lost to Clanga-clang since his first season at the Capstone in 2007 - four MSU coaches ago.

@ Texas A&M - The last two Alabama games against Jimbo have been a struggle, including a loss at College Station in 2021.

Arkansas - The Hogs have been pesky against Alabama the last two seasons, but they have never beaten a Saban led Tide team. KJ Jefferson and Raheim Sanders are back, but Arky lost a lot of defense.

@ Kentucky - With Will Levis soon to be carrying an NFL clipboard on Sundays, UK is actually a little better off at QB this year. Devin Leary has transferred in from NC State and could be a problem for opposing defenses.

Conclusion: Many tough games with a possibility of being upset, but it is hard to see a Bama loss among these games.


Missouri - The Tigers haven’t done much of anything since Gary Pinkel retired after the 2015 season. There is no reason to think they will be better this year or next year. Win.

@ Oklahoma - Is this one really that scary? Brent Venables went 6-7 last season and recruiting has gone from #4 last year to a current ranking of #45. As long as it is not sandwiched between two tough games and not a noon kick in September, you have to like Bama’s chances.

@ Vanderbilt - Easy win under any circumstances.

Georgia - Two-time defending National Champs, but at least it is in T-town.

South Carolina - Spencer Rattler will finally be gone. Are you afraid of Luke Doty? W.

Conclusion: Two easy wins, two should-be wins, and a slugfest with UGA.


FINAL ANSWER: Which is the tougher schedule for Alabama?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    (56 votes)
  • 52%
    (192 votes)
  • 23%
    Equally difficult
    (87 votes)
  • 8%
    I have no idea
    (31 votes)
366 votes total Vote Now