In a game that college football fans have had circled on the calendar ever since it was scheduled, No. 1 Alabama heads to Austin, Texas, to take on Texas in a game that is being played on campus instead of a neutral site. Alabama will become the first SEC team to travel to Austin since LSU beat the Longhorns 45-38 in a thrilling battle of two top-10 teams in 2019. LSU would go on to win the national title that season, and Alabama would love to follow the Tigers' lead in that department.
History suggests that won't be easy. These schools have played only nine times in their history, and Texas has won seven of them. However, there is plenty of familiarity between the programs now that former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is in charge of Texas. What isn't known is if that's good news or bad news for the Longhorns.
Nick Saban's former assistants have not fared well against him historically, losing 25 of 27 games. However, the two wins came last season, with Alabama losing to Texas A&M (Jimbo Fisher) in the regular season and Georgia (Kirby Smart) in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Sark and the Longhorns are looking to make it three out of the last four vs. Alabama.
Alabama vs. Texas: Need to know
Alabama's offense looked unstoppable in Week 1: If you only looked at the final score and saw that Alabama beat Utah State 55-0 last week, you wouldn't know the whole story. First of all, Utah State won the Mountain West last year, so it isn't the typical cannon fodder you see getting blown out by teams of Alabama's caliber. More than that, however, is how much bigger the final margin could have been. Alabama scored its final touchdown of the game to go up 55-0 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Judging by how things had been going to that point, Alabama likely would have scored 70 points had it kept its starters in the entire game. Finally, as if Texas' defensive staff wasn't having enough nightmares about facing quarterback Bryce Young and the Alabama offense, the Tide showed a new wrinkle last week. Young led the team in rushing, picking up 100 yards on five carries. We didn't see Young do that a lot last season en route to the Heisman Trophy.
Texas hasn't beaten an SEC team in the regular season since 2012: The Longhorns crushed Ole Miss 66-31 in 2012, but have lost three straight regular-season nonconference games since. The first came the following season against Ole Miss, and they followed it up with losses to LSU (2019) and Arkansas (2021). A win over Alabama this weekend would be a tremendous statement for Steve Sarkisian and the Texas program.
Nick Saban won his first national title at Alabama against Texas: I mentioned up top that Texas has won seven of the nine games between these programs, but what I didn't mention was that Alabama has won only once (there was a thrilling 3-3 tie in 1960). I also didn't mention that Alabama won the most recent meeting, which just so happens to have been the 2010 BCS National Championship. Alabama beat Texas 37-21 in the Rose Bowl to claim Saban's first national title with the Tide and his second overall. He's managed to win five more since.
How to watch Alabama vs. Texas live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 10 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium -- Austin, Texas
TV: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama vs. Texas prediction, picks
Texas is one of the few teams in the country I believe to be capable of moving the ball and putting up points against the Alabama defense, but not enough to convince me to take the points with the Longhorns. The problems Texas had last season weren't on the offensive side of the ball; it was a defense that allowed 31 points per game, and I need to see more from it than a strong performance against one of the worst teams in the country (ULM) last week before I trust it. Plus, as good as QB Quinn Ewers might be one day, he's still a freshman making his second career start. The Alabama defense he'll see this weekend plays a different sport than the defense he saw last week. It's not hard to imagine he makes a mistake or two that proves costly to the Longhorns. Prediction: Alabama -20
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