Nov. 20, 2016
Chattanooga at Alabama; preview and prediction
Chattanooga of the FCS division will travel down Interstate 59 to Tuscaloosa to take on the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide this Saturday. This will be the 13th meeting between these two schools. Alabama has never lost to Chattanooga and leads the series with a 12-0 record that goes all the way back to 1908. Alabama won the last meeting between these two teams back in 2013 by a score of 49-0. Chattanooga comes into this game with an 8-2 record with wins over Shorter, Presbyterian, Furman, Samford, East Tennessee State, Mercer, VMI and Western Carolina. Their two losses was to The Citadel and Wofford. Alabama enters the game with a perfect 10-0 record with wins over USC, Western Kentucky, Ole Miss, Kent State, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State.
Tale of the tape; Alabama is ranked #1 in all the major polls and #1 in the composite computer polls. The Crimson Tide also has the #1 ranked roster in college football according to 247 Sports.
Chattanooga enters this game ranked #11 in the FCS division. The Sagarin rankings combine both the FBS and the FCS divisions. Using the Sagarin Rankings Chattanooga is ranked 105th. That ranks them ahead of FBS teams such as Tulane and South Alabama. If you combine the two upper divisions in recruiting, Chattanooga's roster would rank 130th according to 247 Sports.
There is no line on this game but if there was a line it would probably be around 45 points. Alabama is just a much more talented team than the Chattanooga Moccasins. When we look at Alabama's stats there is just no real weaknesses as they gear up for Auburn next week and the SEC championship game in two weeks.
Look for Alabama to roll early and often in this one. Chattanooga should be a playoff team in the FCS division so there is a question mark how much their starters might play like what happened with Charleston Southern last year. Coach Saban would love to see a solid performance by his starters and roll up a big halftime lead. In games like this Saban likes to run out the first team offense for one or two series in the second half and get his backups plenty of playing time to finish out the game. Both teams want to avoid injuries as both teams prepare for potential playoffs. I expect Saban and Kiffin to work on balance in this game getting some work for Jalen Hurts making reads and throwing across the middle of the field and trying to get their power running game in gear as they get ready for the stretch run. This one is just a matter of how much time Alabama takes on its drives on how many points they put on the scoreboard. In games like this just pencil in over 40 points for Alabama and a touchdown or less for the Mocs. Alabama 48 Chattanooga 3.