50 days to kickoff, 50 reasons why Alabama football fans should be excited about 2017

Alabama football-Crimson Tide fotball-2017 season

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — In 50 days, the University of Alabama football team will kick off the 2017 season in grand fashion, with a showdown against Florida State in Atlanta.

It’s considered the marquee game of the first weekend, and perhaps the whole season. It’ll also give immediate bragging rights to both the winning team and the winning league as the SEC and ACC are suddenly fighting for supremacy.

To mark the milestone, here are 50 reasons why Crimson Tide fans should be excited about the upcoming season:

  1. Alabama’s opener against Florida State may be its biggest yet, a coaching showdown between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher as well as a possible No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.
  2. How much will quarterback Jalen Hurts improve as a sophomore?
  3. Alabama could potentially play in brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium three times (the opener, SEC Championship Game, national championship).
  4. Calvin Ridley attempts to become the third receiver in Alabama history to have a second 1,000-yard season, joining D.J. Hall and Amari Cooper.
  5. The next wave of wide receivers, including Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III are already on the roster.
  6. Converted running back Ronnie Clark is coming back from a second Achilles tear at tight end.
  7. Jeff Tedford brings Fresno State to Tuscaloosa for an interesting home opener on Sept. 9.
  8. Athletic Trevon Diggs is a player to watch. He hopes to be a long-term staple at cornerback and could also be a special-team standout.
  9. Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs might be the surprise of the season.
  10. A record 10 Alabama players were named preseason All-SEC by the media.
  11. Bo Scarbrough. Like anyone needs an excuse to watch the running back play when healthy.
  12. The Crimson Tide have been ranked at some point of the season every year since 2008.
  13. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is bringing a little of the New England Patriots to Tuscaloosa.
  14. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa begins what fans believe could be an epic career with the Crimson Tide.
  15. Can punter JK Scott win Alabama’s first Ray Guy Award?
  16. Alabama has played in the Sugar Bowl 15 times, and can go for No. 16 this year as it’s the site for one of the College Football Playoff semifinals.
  17. The Crimson Tide winning their 17th national title in 2017 would be college football’s version of numerical symmetry.
  18. A different-looking Colorado State returns under the direction of Mike Bobo.
  19. Safety Ronnie Harrison’s eye-popping hard hits.
  20. Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills may not just be offensive linemen of tomorrow.
  21. Shaun Dion Hamilton gets his chance to lead the defense as a veteran interior linebacker.
  22. Running backs B.J. Emmons and Josh Jacobs should both get more chances as sophomores.
  23. Some rated Najee Harris as the nation’s best prospect. He didn’t look like a freshman during the spring.
  24. Alabama heads to Nashville for first time since 2007 to face Vanderbilt.
  25. Linebacker Terrell Lewis’ A-Day touchdown gave fans a taste of his enormous potential.
  26. Alabama has won 26 SEC titles and is going for its fourth in a row.
  27. Saturdays at Bryant-Denny Stadium are more than games, but celebrated reunions.
  28. Regardless of how Ole Miss finishes, Alabama will still get its best shot on Sept. 30.
  29. Senior Anthony Averett may be the most underrated cornerback in the SEC.
  30. Junior Minkah Fitzpatrick may be the best defensive back in college football.
  31. Linebacker Mack Wilson should have a regular role, perhaps as a pass-rusher.
  32. Offensive linemen Ross Pierschbacher and J.C. Hassenauer could be on the Alabama all-name team.
  33. Versatile linebacker Rashaan Evans has waited a long time to show what he can do.
  34. At 6-5, senior wide receiver Cam Sims will be a tough matchup in the slot.
  35. Running back Damien Harris was Alabama’s leading rusher last season with 1,037 yards.
  36. Junior Da’Ron Payne is out to prove that he’s the SEC’s best defensive lineman.
  37. Even in October, the trip to College Station to face Texas A&M is never an easy one.
  38. Senior center Bradley Bozeman has become the anchor of the offensive line.
  39. Raekwon Davis is a 6-7 defensive lineman. What else do you need?
  40. Arkansas sandwiched between A&M and UT on the schedule will take it touch to silence the hogs.
  41. Sophomore left tackle Jonah Williams might be the best offensive lineman in college football.
  42. When Alabama hosts Tennessee, the Vols will be going for their first win in the “Third Saturday in October” rivalry in 4,018 days, dating back to 2006.
  43. Wide receiver Robert Foster is poised to end his Crimson Tide career with a bang.
  44. In terms of physical football, LSU-Alabama is regularly the best game of the year. They meet again on Nov. 4.
  45. Defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand could be a first-round draft pick in 2018.
  46. Dan Mullen has another quarterback as the cowbells will be ringing at Mississippi State on Nov. 11.
  47. Linebacker Christian Miller is the player to watch when it comes to sacks.
  48. With a coach being on the field an automatic penalty, Scott Cochran will be extra busy as the get-back coach.
  49. The Iron Bowl: Alabama is going for its eighth win in 10 years against Auburn.
  50. Nick Saban, who begins his second decade with the Crimson Tide.

The post 50 days to kickoff, 50 reasons why Alabama football fans should be excited about 2017 appeared first on SEC Country.

Christopher Walsh – SEC Country

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