The Crimson Tide declared themselves the team to beat in in 2012 with their convincing 41-14 blowout of Michigan this past Saturday. Bettors are keen to know if there will be a letdown Saturday against Western Kentucky. So, what's our college football pick?
The Crimson Tide's defense didn't lose a step despite
playing without several members of last year's group, players who, incidentally, are now
earning paychecks in the NFL. Alabama's offense displayed a running game that
was stronger than many people had expected. They previously boasted a Heisman
Trophy finalist in Trent Richardson last year but a committee of replacements
adequately filled the gap for head coach Nick Saban against Michigan.
This team is going to be in the thick of the national
title race entering November unless a slew of injuries and other unforeseen
developments ambush the Tide.
As for Week 2, Western Kentucky is the team that stands
in Alabama's way this weekend.
NCAA Football Odds: Alabama -40
The Hilltoppers can win because…
They are playing Alabama the week after the Crimson Tide
played an emotional and highly-publicized game. You might recall that the
Virginia Tech Hokies were stunned by the Football Championship Subdivision
James Madison Dukes in week two of the 2010 college football season. Virginia
Tech spent the whole offseason preparing for a season-opening game against
Boise State, but after that game, the Hokies were emotionally and physically
spent. They let down their guard against James Madison and were never able to
fully wake up. Western Kentucky could benefit from this same dynamic against
Alabama. Coach Willie Taggart's team could catch the Tide on an off day.
Alabama is an excellent team, but it's still filled with
19 and 20 year old players. Human nature being what it is, Alabama can nap in
this game and find itself in a dogfight in the fourth quarter. These things
sometimes happen. Stanford, a 41-point underdog, beat USC in 2007 on the road.
The Crimson Tide can win because…
They're the much
better team and that’s an understatement. Alabama is the defending national
champion. It doesn't rebuild; it reloads. Saban has
assembled a juggernaut in Tuscaloosa, has gotten his players to buy into his
system and has established an subculture in which excellence is not
only expected but consistently produced.
style can minimize the effects of letdowns. It is not a high-risk team, playing instead a high-percentage form of football, one in which effort is supposed to be
part of the equation.
As long as
Alabama doesn't fall completely asleep, there's no reason why it shouldn't
drill Western Kentucky by a considerable margin.
Outlook & NCAA football betting prediction:
This is a mismatch. Alabama won't overextend itself, to
be sure, but that doesn't mean Western Kentucky, from the Sun Belt Conference,
will be able to keep this game close.
It's not going to be a conversation in the third or
fourth quarter. Alabama is just too powerful. It will pull away late in the
second quarter, just before halftime.
Pick: Alabama -40