Alabama Football: Breaking Down Must-See Games on Schedule in 2013

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 25, 2013

The Alabama Crimson Tide have won the national championship in three of the past four years, including the past two.

Needless to say, the Tide are feeling pretty good about themselves.

But, as always, teams will be looking to take them down in 2013-14. That includes Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, who shocked Alabama last season in Tuscaloosa.

This year, Alabama will have to head to College Station to face the Aggies. It is but one of the games on the 2013-14 slate that figures to be must-see TV.


Saturday, September 14 at Texas A&M

After Texas A&M handed Alabama its only loss of the 2012 campaign, the Crimson Tide look for revenge on September 14 in College Station.

Don't expect it to be easy.

Not only do the Aggies return dual-threat and defending Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (who set an SEC record of 5,116 yards of total offense last season), but they also return second-leading rusher Ben Malena and top wideout Mike Evans.

A&M does need to go on without defensive end Damontre Moore and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, but the surprising return of offensive tackle Jake Matthews certainly helps.

Given that Manziel led the Aggies to a 29-24 victory in Tuscaloosa last season, this figures to be Alabama's toughest contest of 2013.


Saturday, September 28 vs. Ole Miss

Ole Miss is a rising program led by an offensive guru in head coach Hugh Freeze.

The Rebels went 7-6 last season after going 2-10 in 2011. That's an impressive one-year turnaround, especially in the big and bad SEC. 

Dual-threat quarterback Bo Wallace returns, as does big receiver Donte Moncrief and leading rusher Jeff Scott. So do freshman All-American linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche and defensive end C.J. Johnson. 

And while the Rebels lost four defensive linemen this offseason, they did bring in the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation, which includes No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche (Denzel's brother) and top junior college recruit Lavon Hooks (via 247 Sports).

Ole Miss is probably still a year away from being a legitimate contender, but it's hard to imagine Freeze's squad not giving the Crimson Tide a battle.


Saturday, November 9 vs. LSU

Fireworks start popping off every time these two teams meet.

Last season, the Crimson Tide won a 21-17 thriller in Baton Rouge, as quarterback A.J. McCarron hooked up with running back T.J. Yeldon on a 28-yard touchdown with 51 seconds remaining.

In 2011, Alabama lost a 9-6 squeaker to LSU in the regular season, only to beat the Tigers in the BCS National Championship Game, 21-0.

LSU may not be as dangerous as it has been the past two seasons. The Tigers lost a wealth of top-tier talent to the NFL draft, including defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, inside linebacker Kevin Minter, cornerback Tharold Simon, and safety Eric Reid.

On the other hand, senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger gets back his top two rushers in Jeremy Hill and Kenny Hilliard and his top two receivers in Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry.

While Alabama wins this game on paper, you can never be too sure when facing LSU.


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