Can you name an SEC team ready to compete with Alabama football? Or any team?
We couldn’t, at least not among the league teams on the Crimson Tide’s 2017 regular-season schedule.
Alabama football — No. 1 in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, CBS Sports 130 and Sports Illustrated’s Top 25 — has won 17 consecutive conference games. SEC Country’s Marq Burnett expects the Crimson Tide to extend that streak to 25 in a row this season.
“It’s hard to objectively look at another team on paper and say it is better than Alabama,” he writes.
Going back to the start of the 2014 season, Alabama has lost two SEC games — both to Ole Miss — in 27 tries.
Alabama has won five of the last eight SEC championships. The other three in that span were also won by SEC West teams in Auburn (2) and LSU. Florida in 2008 is the last SEC East team to win the conference championship game.
“The [SEC] East isn’t trying to catch up to the West,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said during SEC Media Days. “We’re all trying to catch up to Alabama.”
Alabama returns 13 starters from its 2016 team that finished 14-1 and won the school’s 26th SEC championship. The Tide also have claimed four of the last five SEC titles and four of the last eight national championships.
Burnett expects them to be 12-0 heading for SEC championship No. 4 in a row on Dec. 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Alabama’s 2017 schedule and his predictions:
|DATE||OPPONENT||TIME/TV||MARQ BURNETT’S PREDICTION|
|Sept. 2||vs. Florida State (Atlanta)||7 p.m. CT/ABC||Alabama 27, Florida State 20|
|Sept. 9||Fresno State||2:30 p.m. CT/ESPN2||Alabama 34, Fresno State 3|
|Sept. 16||Colorado State||6 p.m. CT/ESPN/ESPN2||Alabama 41, Colorado State 6|
|Sept. 23||at Vanderbilt||TBD||Alabama 27, Vanderbilt 6|
|Sept. 30||Ole Miss||TBD||Alabama 31, Ole Miss 10|
|Oct. 7||at Texas A&M||TBD||Alabama 34, Texas A&M 17|
|Oct. 14||Arkansas (Homecoming)||TBD||Alabama 31, Arkansas 10|
|Oct. 21||Tennessee||TBD||Alabama 34, Tennessee 17|
|Nov. 4||LSU||TBD||Alabama 24, LSU 13|
|Nov. 11||at Mississippi State||TBD||Alabama 34, Mississippi State 10|
|Nov. 18||Mercer||TBD||Alabama 48, Mercer 3|
|Nov. 25||at Auburn||TBD||Alabama 27, Auburn 16|