I'm still not sure where I fall on the "coin flip" debate around Alabama -- you know, the idea that no matter how many times you flip a coin, there's always a 50-50 chance that either side will come up on the next flip. That's about the best way to describe the answer whenever the likelihood of Alabama having a third straight undefeated regular season comes up: The odds are still the same as they ever were. The fact that Alabama has had a 24-0 run through the last two schedules doesn't have any bearing on the chances of it happening this year.
Yes and no. It's about as close as possible to a simple, basic fact that Alabama's success this year is going to depend largely on what this year's team does. But it is also a simple, basic fact that we're not flipping coins here. It's also a fact that it's incredibly hard to win 12 games and lose none. And that it usually takes the odd lucky bounce or other break to get there. And that there are only so many times that you can get those breaks before you run out.
But there's also another factor in college football that isn't there for the coin flipper: An opponent. Already, some coaches have undoubtedly begun breaking down film of Alabama, trying to figure out how they're going to try to lead the team that finally ends the streak. Greg McElroy is no longer a mystery. Mark Ingram's specialties are now on tape. Defensive game plans will probably be a little better, particularly at the beginning of the season, than they were last year.
Despite all of that, I still think Alabama could go undefeated. They have to be the favorite in almost all of their games, if not all of their games, and at least one of the front-runners for the national title. By those standards, I suppose, the odds of an undefeated season are the same as they ever were.
Still, it feels like the goal will be harder for Alabama to reach with each game that passes.
Place: 1st in the SEC West
Record: 11-1, 7-1 SEC
Could be: 8-4 to 12-0
Best chance to be upset (aside from obvious): South Carolina
Bowl: BCS (either National Championship Game or Sugar)
9.4.10 | SAN JOSE STATE | WIN
9.11.10 | PENN STATE | POSSIBLE WIN
9.18.10 | at DUKE | PROBABLE WIN
9.25.10 | at ARKANSAS | POSSIBLE WIN
10.2.10 | FLORIDA | POSSIBLE LOSS
10.9.10 | at SOUTH CAROLINA | PROBABLE WIN
10.16.10 | OLE MISS | PROBABLE WIN
10.23.10 | at TENNESSEE | LIKELY WIN
11.6.10 | at LSU | POSSIBLE WIN
11.13.10 | MISSISSIPPI STATE | LIKELY WIN
11.18.10 | GEORGIA STATE | WIN
11.26.10 | AUBURN | PROBABLE WIN