SiriusXM host and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy speaks with The Post’s Justin Terranova about whether or not the Crimson Tide can be beaten this season.
Q: Which team has the best chance of beating Alabama?
A: Probably Clemson. Just because of how (the Tigers have) been structured. They are so good along the defensive line. In order to match up with Alabama and somewhat neutralize their run game you have to be really stout defensively. Very few teams have the firepower to actually match up athletically with Alabama and they are one of them. (Clemson has) been slowly but surely trending in this direction for a decade now and it’s gotten to the point where the depth and talent matches up as well as anybody else.
Q: What weaknesses does Alabama have?
A: (The Crimson Tide) have had some vulnerabilities on defense. They are not as deep as they usually are. That’s probably the one area I guess, but it’s really not that big of an issue. The biggest thing for Alabama losing, and it’s been this way for eight years now, if Alabama plays well, you ain’t winning. If Alabama plays poorly and opens the door, then the other team has to play its A++ game to potentially beat them. I can’t think of many times a team is just better than them. The 2014 playoffs when Ohio State beat them is the main one.
Q: Is this the best Alabama team in that eight-year stretch?
A: I’d say so, just with the amount of personnel they have on offense and more than likely a Heisman Trophy winner in Tua (Tagovailoa) at quarterback. It’s the first time they’ve had a true difference-maker at the quarterback position. They have had plenty of solid quarterbacks, but Tua is different than anyone they’ve had to this point.
Q: Who would be the most dangerous team in that fourth spot?
A: I’d favor Ohio State slightly. Those teams on defense are atrocious at times, but Ohio State has superior personnel to Oklahoma on defense. (The Buckeyes have) been so inconsistent and really struggled, but they have guys on that defensive front that’ll likely be first-round picks. So, I guess their upside is intriguing to me. And when you’re trying to determine the lesser of two evils, I’ll lean toward talent.
Q: What is behind those inconsistencies?
A: The inexperience at the second level. … When they came into the season (they) had a combined one start with their three linebackers. They were really inexperienced at that position and they’ve had a lot of turnover in the secondary. They’ve had a bunch of first-round picks over the last few years in their secondary and even the deepest teams can’t compensate for that. The attrition has caught up with them the last few years.