To the biggest Alabama fan, the Crimson Tide is always ranked number one. However, the USA Today Coaches Poll doesn’t seem to feel the same way.
In the 2014 preseason rankings, Alabama falls to No. 2, behind the Florida State Seminoles. Each team strives to make the top of the list every year to begin the season, but maybe that’s not the ideal situation for the Crimson Tide. Being ranked No. 1 in the preseason doesn’t exactly guarantee a national championship in the end. However, being ranked No. 2 (or lower) certainly seems to have its advantages for Bama Nation.
In 2009, Alabama won its first national title since 1992. However, they began the year ranked fifth in the country, behind the likes of Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and USC. Ending with a 14-0 record, the Tide topped off a perfect season with the victory over the Texas Longhorns in the CITI BCS National Championship game.
In 2011, Alabama won its second national title in the Saban era. Ranked preseason at No. 2, the Crimson and White finished with a 13-1 record. Their only loss came at the hands of LSU in the regular season. They avenged that loss in the title game, defeating LSU an impressive 21-0 to earn the title of National Champions.
The very next year, the USA Today Poll gave the top spot away to LSU going into the first game. Completing another remarkable 13-1 season, Alabama once again captured the championship. In one of the worst match-ups in the history of national title games, the Tide destroyed Notre Dame, and captured its third championship in four years.
However, in 2010 and 2013, Bama started out ranked No. 1. These two seasons had one thing in common: defeat at the hands of Auburn. If this is the pattern emerging…
I’ll take the preseason No. 2 ranking any day.