Commentary

Roundtable: Opening-game hype

All eyes will be on season opener pitting Alabama against Michigan

Updated: June 11, 2012, 10:06 AM ET
By Alex Scarborough | TideNation
Every other week, TideNation's writers will answer a handful of questions that address a pressing topic regarding the Alabama football program. And with every Roundtable, we'll seek out the opinions of a guest. This week's contributor is ESPN college football Insider Travis Haney.

Question: Can the Michigan-Alabama game live up to the hype? What intrigues you the most about the matchup?

[+] EnlargeDenard Robinson
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioDenard Robinson is expected to pose a unique challenge for the Tide.
Travis Haney: Sure it can. Michigan returns more starters, a lot more starters, than Alabama, so I would think it is equipped to make it a four-quarter game because of experience and the success from '11. I'm curious to see what the Wolverines can muster for an offensive gameplan beyond Denard Robinson. Do they have anyone at all, at receiver or back, who can make plays against a new-but-still-good defense and defensive scheme? For Alabama, I think this game is just as much about Alabama learning itself, its new personnel, as anything else. How do those newbies fit in on defense? Can T.J. Yeldon play from day one? Is he ready? Will AJ McCarron really throw more this year? If so, to whom? There are a lot of eyes on Alabama, to see if it's being properly valued going into a season in which it replaces so many key players.

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