Alabama Football: CFB Contenders, Pretenders and Too Soon to Call

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football: After five weeks of college football, teams are already being sorted into contenders and pretenders.

Two weeks into the Alabama football season and five weeks into the FBS season, championship tracks are apparent. So are the teams already having run off championship tracks. Let’s consider the ‘Contenders’, ‘Pretenders’ and the ‘Too Soon to Call’ groups.

Early analysis is problematic when gauging Big Ten and Pac 12 teams who are yet to play. The top teams in those two conferences can only be evaluated from the most recent AP and Coaches Poll rankings. As has already happened with Big 12 and SEC teams, some ‘Contender’ B1G and PAC teams will be found wanting. Six teams in the current AP Poll Top 25 have not played a game.

A fair debate could commence over the top spot in the ‘Contenders’ category. Clemson has not been overly impressive in its three wins. Should an 18-point win over Virginia be valued higher than a 28-point win over the Aggies? Alabama football fans would not be wrong is saying no.

It is likely Nick Saban’s Alabama football team in the No. 1 ‘Contender’ for a National Championship. A few national, college football pundits, including Kirk Herbstreit, have already made that claim. Two weeks into the SEC football season is a bit too soon to rank, rather than just list, teams inside the Contender, Pretender and the Too Soon categories.

Any debate over the potential championship merits of Alabama football, Clemson (and maybe later, Ohio State) will be left for future posts as we update our lists weekly.

Arguments can be made the ‘Too Soon’ list should be longer this early in the season. Many teams currently are technically in championship contention. The following list excludes those with no apparent realistic chances.