Key stretch: at Arkansas (Sept. 25), Florida (Oct. 2), at South Carolina (Oct. 9)
Analysis: Facing a passing attack as potent as Arkansas’ with the likes of Ryan Mallett, Greg Childs, D.J. Williams and Co. is a tall order for such a young secondary so early in the season. Plus, it will be on the road. Win or lose, the Crimson Tide have to come back the next week and face Florida, the second most talented team in the league and a team that has been yearning for a second shot at Alabama after last season’s SEC championship game loss. The final leg is a trip to face South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., and Williams-Brice Stadium is never an easy place to play, especially with what should be Steve Spurrier’s most talented team yet at South Carolina.