Alabama Football: Bill Connelly rates Crimson Tide preseason No. 1

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama football fans love Bill Connelly’s algorithm determining who will be the best team in the nation, but is he right? Let’s take a look.

Nothing pumps up Alabama football fans more during the offseason than a preseason No. 1 ranking. A few weeks ago, ESPN’s Bill Connelly provided one. Rather than just basking in the prediction, a closer look is in order.

How does the Alabama Crimson Tide compare to its 2020 opponents and the other top teams who may be national championship contenders?

First, a little background on Connelly. He has been doing this type of analysis for a while, back to 2008 to be exact. His efforts have been recognized as some of the best. His model is predictive, which means it becomes more accurate with each passing week of actual results. Use the link above for a more complete explanation of how is numbers work.

We get into more detail below, after a look at what teams are ranked in Connelly’s Top 20 for 2020.

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Georgia
  5. Penn State
  6. LSU
  7. Florida
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Auburn
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Oregon
  14. Texas
  15. Southern Cal
  16. Michigan
  17. North Carolina
  18. UCF
  19. Tennessee
  20. Minnesota

Alabama football has six, regular-season games against Connelly’s Top 20. Strength of schedule should not be a problem for the Crimson Tide when measuring potential CFB Playoff fields.

More interesting are the potential matchups for the Crimson Tide. Connelly’s rankings are very helpful because rather than just considering an overall rating, offensive and defensive ratings can be compared.

Alabama vs. Southern Cal

The Crimson Tide is ranked as the No. 1 offensive team. The Trojans are rated as the No. 43 defensive team. The Southern Cal offense is rated as the second-best offense to battle the Tide defense in the regular season. USC is No. 9 offensively. The Alabama football defense is rated No. 8.

Alabama vs. Georgia

The No. 1 rated Crimson Tide offense will face the No. 1 defense in the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs No. 32 rated offense will battle the No. 8 Tide defense.

Alabama vs. LSU

LSU will counter the Tide’s No. 1 rated offense with the No. 23 rated defense. Connelly’s ratings do not indicate a big dropoff from 2019 with the LSU offense at No. 5.

Alabama vs. Texas A&M

To battle the No. 1 Tide offense, TAMU will have the No. 15 rated defense. TAMU also has the No. 15 rated offense to counter the No. 8 Tide defense.

Alabama vs. Auburn

The Auburn Tigers have the second-highest rated, Tide opponent defense at No. 3. The Auburn offense does not fare so well in the rankings at No. 21.

Next. Pre-Spring Defensive Depth Chart. dark

One thing to remember is there can be no calculation for future injuries. In order for this rather rosy scenario to transpire for the Tide, it will need to have better injury luck than the last two seasons.