It is never too early to start looking at the next Alabama football season. Check out the best guesses on where the Tide begins.
The final AP Poll is the best indicator of later preseason rankings of teams. After the National Championship game, Alabama football will learn from the AP how far it will be from the preseason No. 1.
After Monday night’s final game, win or lose Clemson is most likely to be the No. 1 choice in later preseason rankings. If not, Clemson, it will be Ohio State or maybe LSU. Even if LSU wins the National Championship, the 2020, Burrow-less (and maybe Joe Brady-less) Bengal Tigers may not be a popular preseason No. 1 pick.
Where will the Crimson Tide land in the final AP Poll for the 2019 season? College Football News projects the Alabama Crimson Tide at No.7, one behind Florida at No. 6 and three behind Georgia at No. 4. Ending the season at No. 7 is not bad for a two-loss team not helped by any wins against Top 15 opposition. Some Alabama football fans will disagree, thinking Florida was not a better team than the Tide. Given the every season expectation of an Alabama football National Championship, being second or seventh does not much matter.
The Earliest of the Too-Early Preseason Projections
Despite being way too early, there are two, 2020, pre-season projections worthy of review. They rank the teams and explain why. Alabama football fans will enjoy the Sporting News and Athlon projections.
The highlights for Alabama football fans are the Tide rankings, those of other SEC teams and USC. Both projections have the Crimson Tide at No. 3, the highest-ranked SEC team. Both also have the Clemson Tigers as No. 1 and the Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 2. LSU comes in at No. 4 in both projections.
Deviations begin at No. 5 with the Georgia Bulldogs and the Oklahoma Sooners as the two choices. The other ranking for Georgia is No. 8. The Florida Gators have a high ranking of No. 7 and a low ranking of No. 10. The highest-ranking for the Auburn Tigers is No. 11, with Gus Malzahn’s team’s low ranking of No. 16. The only other SEC team in the projected Top 25 is the Texas A&M Aggies, at No. 16 and No. 17.
Athlon went a bit deeper with its projection. Using a heading of ‘Next Tier,’ the Tennessee Vols were at No. 27 and Southern Cal at No. 30. If the Vols and the Trojans can improve some on the Athlon projections, the Crimson Tide could play six ranked teams in the 2020 regular season.
The Bama Hammer staff will not rush into our own ‘too-early’ projection. We will wait for a few more NFL and final 2020 class decisions.