Alabama Football: Latest CFB Contenders, Pretenders and Others

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
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pretenders

This ‘Pretender’ category is vague. For a team to be listed as a Pretender, it must first have been defined by a credible, media source as a ‘Contender’ or potential ‘Contender’ going back to the preseason. Our lowest level of being considered a ‘Contender’ is a team a credible source has predicted can win a Power Five, Division Championship. An exception includes non-Power Five teams thought by a credible source to be a ‘Contender’ as a CFB Playoff participant.

In our first ‘Pretender’ category, we had seven teams. In this update, there are only four.

  • Auburn Tigers – This nearly perennial SEC spoiler, benefactor of improbable victories almost every season, can never be counted out too early in a season. With two losses and an escape win against Arkansas, Gus Malzahn’s Tigers look like a team that will lose another two, to four games. The next loss will move them to our ‘Done’ list.
  • LSU Bengal Tigers – So far in the 2020 season, Ed Orgeron’s team has to be the biggest disappointment in college football. Defending National Champions are not supposed to lose to the sub-.500 teams, Mississippi State and Missouri. The Bengal Tigers are not mathematically eliminated from any championship contention but their next loss will move them to ‘Done.’
  • Texas Longhorns – The ‘Horns are back’ keeps being shouted by Texas fans. A third loss by Tom Herman’s team will stifle those shouts and move the Longhorns to ‘Done.’
  • Oklahoma Sooners – Lincoln Riley’s team is exactly where Texas is except for the tie-breaker the Sooners earned beating the Longhorns.

In the case of the Longhorns and the Sooners, no two-loss Big 12 Champion is going to make the Playoff field.

‘Pretenders’ are significantly discredited teams. That does not mean they cannot be spoilers, blocking championship chances from their rivals.