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
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 CFB ‘Too Soon to Call’ Teams

The list is long resulting from it being early October and two of the Power Five conferences are yet to play games. There are 23 teams listed and the number could be larger. Our evaluation is only concerned with teams that either in the preseason or after week five, could possibly in contention for a CFB Playoff slot or a New Years Six bowl berth.

This segment of the breakdown is the weakest in data points and the highest in subjectivity. The teams at the bottom of this section are listed with no elaboration because they have not played.

  • Miami Hurricanes – At 3-0, the Canes might be good enough to make an ACC run.
  • North Carolina Tar Heels – Same as Miami, the Heels might factor in an ACC Championship.
  • BYU Cougars – BYU has looked very good but the cobbled together schedule is weak going forward.
  • LSU Bengal Tigers – How can a defending National Champion not be a contender after just two games? The answer is, lose to Mississippi State and get a no-contest win over Vanderbilt. Player attrition since last season is an issue, but the Tigers still have considerable talent.
  • Tennessee Vols – Jeremy Pruitt has done a fantastic job reviving the program. A road game Saturday with Georgia will help define how much progress has been made.
  • Ole Miss Rebels Etc. – Lane Kiffin has made them explosive. Their weak defense, especially against the run, means they can only win shootouts.
  • Arkansas Razorbacks – It is early so the Hawgs cannot yet be moved to our ‘Done’ category. Upsetting State in Starkville gives the program a major boost. It will still be a difficult season for the Razorbacks.
  • Texas A&M Aggies – Following another disappointing loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Aggies are on shaky ground.
  • Cincinnati Bearcats – The Bearcats are 3-0 but in a secondary conference. They need stiffer competition to be taken seriously.
  • Southern Methodist Mustangs – 4-0 is a great start with a good win over Memphis. The Mustangs have the same challenge as the Bearcats.
  • Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas State Wildcats and the Texas Christian Horned Frogs – Each has a resume-building win, but must overcome early losses.
  • Pittsburgh Panthers, North Carolina Wolfpack, Boston Collge Eagles, Virginia Cavaliers and the Virginia Tech Hokies – Each team must prove it is a threat to Clemson and Notre Dame.
  • Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota GophersWashington Huskies, Southern Cal Trojans and the Utah Utes – None have played and preseason expectations do not qualify them as Contenders.