Originally written on The Pass Rush  |  Last updated 10/18/14

The 2011 National Champions went 12-1 last year, losing to LSU 9-6, before beating them 21-0 in the BCS Championship. Everyone knows about the loss of their rushing star Trent Richardson and the loss of lots of talent on their defense. Four of Alabama’s defensive players were drafted in the within the first 35 picks of the draft (Barron, Kirkpatrick,  Hightower, and Upshaw). In 2012, Alabama comes with a pre-season ranking of No. 3 behind USC and LSU. The question on everyone’s mind is can Alabama repeat as National Champions with the loss of Richardson and their big four defensive players? The Tide return 5 starters on defense. Many are saying despite the loss of Donta’a Hightowner, this Alabama linebacker group is still the top LB units in the country. The star to watch on this 2012 Alabama defense is WLB Nico Johnson who is 6’3″ 245 lbs. Where Alabam may see a decline in production in in their secondary. Last season the Tide’s secondary was ridicuous, giving up 4.3 yards per passing attempt and 111 passing yards per game. The loss of Mark Barron and Dre Kirkpatrick really hurts this squad. Nick Saban will have his hands full trying to replace that stellar secondary from 2011. 2012 Alabama Schedule Sept. 1: vs. Michigan (at Arlington, Tex.)
Sept. 8: Western Kentucky
Sept. 15: at Arkansas
Sept. 22: Florida Atlantic
Sept. 29: Mississippi
Oct. 6: Open Date
Oct. 13: at Missouri
Oct. 20: at Tennessee
Oct. 27: Mississippi State
Nov. 3: at LSU
Nov. 10: Texas A&M
Nov. 17: Western Carolina
Nov. 24: Auburn 2012 Alabama Predictions Alabama’s 2012 schedule is fairly soft. Their only tests this year are in week 1 against Michigan, week 3 at Arkansas, at LSU on November 3, and the last week against Auburn.  If Alabama can come out with victories against Michigan and Arkansas to start the season 3-0, they should be able to cruise into the LSU game on November 3 with the SEC West title on the line. I expect Alabama to 11-1 in the regular season by dropping a game to LSU. There is a chance of a week 3 let down in Arkansas, so week 3 will be a very important game with National Title implications.
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