Whether you're a fan of Alabama Crimson Tide Football or not, you have to give them their due. They areon an all-time great run. Arguably the greatest football dynasty in the past 75 -- or more -- years. Four national championship titles in seven yearsand a86-10 overall record in college football's most powerful conference during the same period. Topping it off is their #1 average national recruiting ranking for the past five years.

Alabama's football schedule much tougher in 2016

Every year, Nick Saban's team must negotiate one of the most difficult schedules in football, simply based on their location in the Southeastern Conference western division.

In addition, the Crimson Tide normally opens against a well-respected out of conference opponent. To top it off, if they win their division, they must play a championship game versus the winner of the eastern division of the SEC in order to win the conference title.

If they recruit the best class of players yearly, why not win every year?

I've actually heard that argument made a couple of times, though not by anyone whom I respect for their knowledge of college football. Creating a great college football team is like grandma making a perfect batch of banana pudding. It takes several ingredients and a lot of know how. Grandma can't do the job without the bananas but if the fruit is all you have, it's not going to work out well, either.

Simply said, the players are only one ingredient.

Saban's staff is another important ingredient. They consistently do a great job coaching the talent up and keeping them ready. There are plenty of other things that come together to make a talented group of players become a great team, like Alabama. In almost every case, Coach Saban pushes the right buttons to keep it going.

However, there is one important thing that is out of the coaches and players hands that makes a big difference -- schedule.

What makes Alabama's schedule different in 2016?

From the standpoint of who they play, its not very different than any other year. Opening with USC is tough as normal but has no bearing on their conference standing.

Also, in 2015, Alabama played a top five schedule and 2016 it is ranked the same. What is going to make this year so much more difficult is whenand where the Tide plays the toughest competitors.

This year, Alabama plays four away conference games. At Mississippi (top 20), at Arkansas, at Tennessee (top10), at LSU (top 10). They also play Kentucky, Texas A&M, Mississippi State (top 20) and Auburn at home. With the exception of rival Auburn, all of Alabama's most difficult games are on the road.

It is interesting to note, one of the few things that is kryptonite to super Bama is three games versus ranked teams in a row. Home or away doesn't matter in this case. Prior to the championship playoff last season, Bama lost the previous five times they played three ranked opponents in a row.

In each instance, they lost at least one of the games, two of three in 2005. This happened in 2014, 2012, 2010, 2006 and 2005. The way the schedule works out, there is a good likelyhood that Alabama will see three ranked conference teams in a row at least once and possible twice this year.

We all know you can make stats say almost anything. So, I take the three in a row thing with a grain of salt. However, the fact that it happened five times in a row does indicate just how difficult it is to keep a team -- regardless of how good -- razor sharp every single time out.

Alabamawill likely lose twice in the 2016 regular season

I say this based on the way I see the 2016 schedule playing out. Obviously, lots of things can happen.In addition, my analysis says this team has the most overall talent, along with the best coaching staff in college football. Still, an outside factor will likely have Alabama scrambling to make the college football playoff in 2016.