Alabama Crimson Tide: 2020 Opponents rated better or worse than 2019

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Crimson Tide
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Alabama Crimson Tide will play teams stronger and weaker than last season

The 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide season will define the trajectory of Alabama football. The ‘always’ expectation is another National Championship. There will be some consolation if the Tide falls one game short. Making the CFB Playoff field again after last year’s absence and a semi-final win would be progress. It is too easy to forget winning an SEC Championship still matters.

That is the terrain for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Beat rivals, Georgia, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn; add an SEC Championship and a CFB Playoff semi-final win – and it is not enough. No other team carries such a burden.

The 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide, barring major injuries, will be better than the 2019 team. So the Crimson Tide trajectory will be up. Let’s consider which Tide opponents will be better in 2020 and which ones will be worse.

It is always good to review data. There is plenty available. The data considered for measuring team trajectory was the ESPN FPI, the ESPN SP+, analysis of strength of schedule (SOS), done by Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports and the ESPN take on SOS. Additionally Bama Hammer staffer, Zachary Mangum shared his considerable insight in his early, preseason Top 25.

Added to that trove and data and expert opinion was more data. Bill Connelly’s calculations on the returning production numbers for each team could not be ignored. Connelly believes measuring returning starting experience is not enough.

It would be helpful if these sources created a consensus. They don’t. Talking college football predictions in June is risky. Conclusions are drawn about the strengths and weaknesses of teams is based primarily upon how each team will start the season. Next was how much better or worse each team will become compared to their last season record.

All this process leads to six Crimson Tide opponents and how much better or worse each will be when playing the Tide. Better or worse is defined by how each team finished last season.

Six teams were ignored. The three SEC teams with new coaches, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Mississippi. The three, 2020 FCS games were also not considered.