The Alabama Crimson Tide started the season by proving exactly why they are this year’s college football betting favorites. A 52-6 plowing of the USC Trojans was certainly the best way to answer any doubts about the reigning National Champions. USC certainly couldn’t hang with the Tide and it’s unlikely their Week 2 opponent will be able to either.
The Crimson Tide will face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers this upcoming weekend. Western Kentucky looked strong in their first outing, overcoming the Rice Owls 46-14. But the Rice Owls aren’t the USC Trojans and comparing the caliber of the two teams is an ill-fated affair. In other words, the Hilltoppers will be vastly outgunned in this matchup. If there’s any doubts about this fans can take a quick gander at the odds across the best betting websites.
Saturday September 10th
Western Kentucky +28 ½ (-110) 58 ½ (-110) +3250
Alabama -28 ½ (-110) 58 ½ (-110) -7500
Needless to say Western Kentucky has an ice cube’s chance in hell of overcoming the nation’s No. 1 team. Against the Owls the Hilltoppers were able to amass 649 yards of total offense, but against Alabama’s fearsome defense it would be surprising to see them even amount 200. After all, USC was only able to gain 194 yards of total offense, and the Trojans are pegged by the college football betting odds as favorites to win the Pac 12. Western Kentucky may be favored to win the Conference USA, but unlike the Pac 12 or the ACC, USA is not a power conference.
This contest will help the Crimson Tide out tremendously down the road. Alabama’s Achilles heel lies in their offense, specifically their quarterback. Their running game isn’t the problem; they were able to average 5.4 yards per carry against the Trojans. However, the uncertainty Alabama has at quarterback may spell disaster down the road. Sure, uncertainty at quarterback has become a trademark of Nick Saban’s recent teams and last year Saban proved they can still win the National Title without a ‘Deshaun Watson’ at quarterback. Winning a title without solid play at quarterback is one thing, but winning back to back titles with uncertainty at the most important position in football is an entirely different affair.
To help combat the inexperience at the quarterback position Saban is playing two different quarterbacks throughout the game. Blake Barnett, who is a redshirt freshman, had earned the start against the Trojans and completed 5 out of 6 passes for 100 yards. He didn’t play too long but was still able to score a touchdown without turning the ball over. Jalen Hurts, a true freshman, came into the game after the second series and was able to score 4 touchdowns, albeit turning the ball over twice.
“I thought that both guys were a little shaky in the beginning in terms of how they played,” Saban stated in regards to the battle at quarterback. “And I think that the longer they played in the game, the better they played.”
“That goes for both guys.”
Saban will continue to use his 2-quarterback strategy to help develop both players before one stands out above the other. While this isn’t a problem against a team like Western Kentucky, Alabama needs to figure out the quarterback position before they face tougher opposition later on in the season. The Crimson Tide defense is strong enough to support both players while they develop, but if Alabama doesn’t find an answer soon the college football betting odds might start favoring another team.