Danielson: Alabama's schedule even strengthens chances of SEC dominance

The SEC on CBS will be in Tuscaloosa for the third Saturday in October once again, taking in one of the most storied cross-division rivalries in the conference with Tennessee visiting No. 1 Alabama

While teams like Clemson, Washington and Auburn have stumbled recently, Alabama looks stronger than ever as it moves through its conference schedule with little resistance. The Tide enter most seasons as the favorite to win the SEC, but SEC on CBS lead analyst Gary Danielson pointed out that in 2017 even the schedule has broken favorably. 

"In the year of the quarterback in the SEC, Alabama has drawn a very interesting schedule," Danielson said. "First of all, their two crossovers: Vandy and Tennessee. Boy, that was nice. Now Ole Miss is really down this year. Against Arkansas, they don't face Austin Allen, they face Cole Kelley

"So in back-to-back-to-back games they're going to face Cole Kelley at Arkansas, Jarrett Guarantano in his first road start and after a week of,f they're going to face Danny Etling with a, let's put it as a 'challenged' offense for LSU. Who's going to challenge this Alabama team? I doubt if Florida can. It's Georgia, with a true freshman quarterback, and everybody else."

Gary went on to point out that while Alabama seems to have a lot in its favor, there are still areas where the Tide need to improve to win championships. 

"I think Alabama still has an inability to throw the ball over the middle of the field if they have to. Someone can play them tough," he said. "So can Alabama do this year what they couldn't do last year against Clemson, when they're having trouble running the ball, throw it 12 yards over the middle of the field. Right now, Jalen Hurts still has not taken that next step. He can do it when it's easy, he can do it when Alabama is in control of the game. Can he do it at the end of the game, under pressure, throwing the ball. We all know he can run the ball, but if Alabama has to throw the ball that might be their one Achilles heel."

Alabama hosts Tennessee on Saturday in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET and you can watch it on CBS, CBSSports.com or the CBS Sports App on mobile and OTT devices.  

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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