The preseason Amway Coaches Poll dropped with Alabama football opening at number three. Crimson Tide could potentially face five top 15 teams.
The much-anticipated release of the preseason Coaches’ poll revealed one single caveat, third-ranked Alabama football has a steep road to navigate. In contrast, top-ranked Clemson will face one opponent in the top 15 (yawn, Notre Dame). Defending Big Ten champion Ohio State squares off against seventh-ranked Penn State and No.15 Michigan Wolverines.
The Crimson Tide could face five (Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Florida if added to their schedule, as speculated). The Alabama Crimson Tide will play every ranked team in the SEC. All the media darlings who berated Alabama for a “cupcake” schedule last season – keep that same intense scrutiny for Clemson and Ohio State.
Tough Road Ahead
In a league chock full of heavyweights, the Crimson Tide wants to deliver massive haymakers, not lucky jabs every Saturday. Although the schedule is stacked, Alabama cannot whiff on its prominent opponents.
First up, Georgia enters the poll ranked number four. Pretty sure this game has been circled on Kirby Smart’s calendar since being announced. Alabama fans know this game could pose a severe risk for the Tide. There is a lot at stake.
Master versus pupil.
Anytime these two squads match up, the games are close and are of gigantic proportions. Whether Jamie Newman or JT Daniels man the helm for the Bulldogs, it is their first true road game, which could create problems for the young Bulldogs.
LSU starts at number five despite losing both coordinators, a Heisman winning quarterback, and two-thirds of their starters from last year’s national title-winning team. Last season, the Tigers came into Bryant Denny Stadium and exposed Alabama.
Not this year.
Expect maximum effort from anyone wearing crimson and white in their Death Valley matchup. Ed Orgeron, Bama fans haven’t forgotten your boasts about owning the Tide in the visitor’s locker room that day.
Next, a return to the dreaded Gator Swamp. The Tide currently holds a six-game winning streak against the Florida Gators, with their last victory occurring in the 2016 SEC Championship game 54-16. The Gators are generating tons of buzz this preseason as Dan Mullen led them to an 11-2 record last season.
Texas A&M returns with Jimbo Fisher attempting to right the Aggies after a disappointing 8-5 record. Lastly, revenge season awaits the dreaded rival Auburn Tigers. Tuscaloosa awaits, Gus and Bo.
Saban Erases All Doubt
With so much uncertainty regarding college football, the preseason rankings release were a breath of fresh air. As players opt out of the season, athletes demand safety protocols, and COVID-19 uncertainties still creating doubt, Alabama football has a challenging road to traverse to return to the College Football Playoff. The most significant thing is the elite coach preparing the team, Nick Saban, is ready for the unique challenges of a rugged ten-game SEC knockdown, drag-out dogfight.
The SEC slate is still in the works. Adding Florida to Alabama’s schedule guarantees the Crimson Tide the toughest trek in the nation.