Alabama’s latest odds to make College Football Playoff revealed; 3 games to watch

In the four-team era of the College Football Playoff, Alabama has never missed the field two years straight.
It’s a true hallmark of the dynasty’s bridge from the times of the BCS to next year’s expanded 12-team bracket. But to get back to a national semifinal and play for another championship in 2023, the Crimson Tide will need to rectify a couple of losses and shaky performances from last fall.
According to BetMGM’s latest odds, Alabama (+600) is second to Georgia (+220) and ahead of Ohio State (+700) and Michigan (+850) to win the whole thing. Kirby Smart’s reign in Athens has some comparing the two powerhouses, but as Tide offensive lineman JC Latham said at SEC Media Days, doubting UA just adds “fuel to the fire.”
While players and coaches are likely to reference the Sept. 2 opener against Middle Tennessee as its focus during fall camp, there is a trio of games with massive postseason implications every Tide fan should circle. Here’s an early breakdown:
Week 2 vs. Texas
Game time: 6 p.m on Sept. 9
The newly-named Allstate Crossbar Classic is one of the first premier games of the college football season. While it will be an SEC battle between the Longhorns and Tide starting in 2024, the backend of the home-and-home series also gives UA a substantial out-of-conference opportunity to boost its resume.
With quarterback Quinn Ewers leading a group of 10 returning starters, there’s going to be a fire in the visitors after a 20-19 loss in Austin a year ago. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian likes his odds in the rematch, but the former UA offensive coordinator will face the newest play-caller in Tommy Rees. After likely beating MTSU, Rees will get a chance to open up his playbook like Sarkisian did in the first meeting.
Where does Alabama stand with in-state recruits after losing 5-star to Auburn?
Week 7 vs. Tennessee
Oct. 21
The third Saturday in October was a historic one in Knoxville in 2023 as for the first time since Saban was hired, the Volunteers got to light up a victory cigar. In the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium this time around, Alabama will look to return the favor.
Josh Heupel and co. earned the national spotlight through a raucous Neyland Stadium and explosive offense. Can quarterback Joe Milton and wide reciever Bru McCoy pick up the reigns from Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt? More importantly for the Tide, can new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele prevent another 50-point outburst?
Hendon Hooker
Week 9 vs. LSU
Nov. 4
If Alabama wants a shot to end Georgia’s run atop the SEC, it’ll first need to get to Atlanta, which means winning the rematch against Brian Kelly and LSU.
Both teams will be coming off an idle week for what is likely to be flexed into a primetime television window. The storylines will be abundant. Brian Kelly, coming off a wild two-point conversion in Death Valley, can get a shot to go 2-0 against Saban in the SEC. Kelly will also be across the sideline from a former assistant and player in Rees and, potentially starting quarterback Tyler Buchner.
With matchups at Kentucky, home versus Chattanooga, and at Auburn to follow, this could be Alabama’s last hurdle toward the conference championship.

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