Alabama Football: Portal grades for National Championship contenders

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

After two posts evaluating the Transfer Portal from the perspective of Alabama Footballother SEC West teams and SEC East teams, let’s turn attention to potential CFB Playoff contenders.

Who are the contenders? There is a multitude of predictions. All of them are too early for much merit, but for the sake of this discussion, we add another prediction. The CFB Playoff contenders are the Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma Sooners, Ohio State Buckeyes, Clemson Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs and the Texas A&M Aggies. Yes, left out is the Pac 12 (again) and college football’s always most-overrated team, Notre Dame.

A reminder that in this three-post series, the heavy lifting of 247Sports provides the data set by ranking the Top 150 players in the 2021 Transfer Portal. In our evaluation, no consideration was given to players outside 247’s Top 150.

As we wrote in the first post of this series, evaluation of the Georgia Bulldogs defines them as ‘Big Portal Winners.’ The Dawgs added three of the top nine players in the Top 150. Arik Gilbert, Derion Kendrick and Tykee Smith far outweigh Kirby Smart’s four players lost through the portal.

Our second post on the SEC West teams did not grade the Texas A&M Aggies as having gained much through the Portal. Jimbo’s Portal grade was a ‘Small Winner.’ The Aggies got offensive line help in No. 56 Jahmir Johnson. Otherwise, Jimbo’s Portal actions were mostly freeing up roster slots.

Evaluating the Clemson Tigers is easy. Dabo is nada in Portal additions. Though his position has softened in recent months, Dabo has been strongly opposed to adding players through the Transfer Portal. All of Clemson’s Portal activity has been subtractions. Six of the Top 150 are exiting Clemson players. Dabo has recruited well for the last several cycles, but it might not have been enough to make up for Portal losses. Leaving Clemson are No. 5 Mike Jones, No. 6 Derion Kendrick and No. 7 Damarkcus Bowman. Kendrick’s exit was different. He was dismissed by Dabo. Our Portal grade for Clemson is ‘Big Loser.’

Ohio State has made productive use of the Portal in the past. Buckeyes Justin Fields and Trey Sermon were transfer players. So far, in the current Portal cycle, Ryan Day has added no players ranked in the Top 150. He offered wide receiver, Top 150 rated, No. 32 Daylen Baldwin. The former Jackson State player chose Michigan. As Alabama football fans know, the loss of former Buckeye, Jameson Williams (No. 23 in the Top 150) weakened the Ohio State wide receiver group. Day also lost No. 58, wide receiver Mookie Cooper. Our grade for Ohio State is ‘Portal Loser‘.

That leaves the Oklahoma Sooners. An active Portal season has seen Lincoln Riley add five Top 150 players and lose six. Riley’s gains are bigger than his losses. No. 2 Eric Gray, No. 8 Wanya Morris and No. 21 Key Lawrence are probable starters. They were all raided from the Tennessee Vols. No. 51 in the Top 150, wide receiver Mike Woods from Arkansas should also help the Sooners. Our grade for the Sooners is ‘Portal Winner‘.

Next. The Tide's strongest and weakest position groups. dark

Did Lincoln Riley out-portal Nick Saban? No, but Oklahoma was not far behind Alabama Football.