Greg McElroy’s bold Kalen DeBoer Alabama 2024 prediction (sort of)

Kalen DeBoer will be the most successful first-year head coach of all time for the Alabama Crimson Tide college football program.

Better than the GOAT Nick Saban. Better than the iconic Bear Bryant. Better than Gene Stallings.

Of course as Greg McElroy and any diehard Bama fan knows, this is all a bit tongue-in-cheek as no first-year Alabama head coach after Bryant has had much success. Both Saban and Stallings went 7-6. Bryant was 5-4-1.

Greg McElroy’s bold prediction? The former Alabama signal caller and 2009 national champion (Saban’s first with the Tide) expects DeBoer to equal or surpass the nine-win mark set by Frank Thomas in 1931, who went 9-1.

“I would be highly surprised if Alabama didn’t win at least nine games,” McElroy noted. “If you look at their schedule, it sets up pretty well. I’m not saying that the schedule’s easy. I just think it sets up well.”

McElroy breaks it all down in the segment from his podcast, Always College Football with Greg McElroy.

DeBoer seemingly has a much stronger roster than any of his predecessors, with the return of dual-threat quarterback Jalen Milroe and a No. 6 preseason ranking. Plus the first-year Bama HC righted the ship after some initial big-time transfers with Nick Saban’s retirement.

The Tide have a tricky out-of-conference game on the road vs. the Wisconsin Badgers on Sept. 14 before the consensus No.1 Georgia Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa two weeks later for an early monster SEC showdown. 

Alabama has the ninth-toughest schedule in the SEC, ramping up significantly towards the second half of the season with games at No. 13 Tennessee, vs. No. 11 Missouri, at No. 10 LSU, at No. 18 Oklahoma, culminating with the Iron Bowl vs. Auburn.

If DeBoer and Alabama want to make the inaugural 12-team College Football Playoff, the first-year head coach will indeed have to make Tide history, because 9-3 probably won’t cut it.