AP poll proves Alabama football’s strength of schedule

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football has another tough schedule

Since the Nick Saban era began, fans have tried to discount Alabama football‘s success. They point to the times the Tide have won the national title without winning their division. They reference cupcake games and Alabama’s strength of schedule. While we’ll have to see how things play out, the preseason AP top 25 shows that the Crimson Tide actually have a tough schedule.

As expected, Alabama earned the top spot in the preseason AP poll. They received 47 first-place votes, and no other team had more than 6. To stay at the top, the Tide will play against plenty of ranked opponents.

Alabama football has four opponents currently ranked in the top 25. Their highest-ranked opponent is Texas A&M at No. 6. Florida, LSU and Miami are all in the teens.

By the time these games are played, the rankings will be significantly different. however, Florida should rise up the boards before they play the Crimson Tide. That will likely be a game between undefeated teams, and the Gators will have home-field advantage. The Aggies game will also be on the road, and Texas A&M should be undefeated as well.

Ole Miss and Auburn also received votes. Depending on how things go for the Rebels, they could be ranked by the time they play the Crimson Tide. Auburn may not be ranked, but the Iron Bowl is always a tough game for Alabama football. It’ll be tougher against a new head coach on the road.

For Alabama football, the lesser games don’t define the resume. Alabama hasn’t lost to an unranked opponent since 2007. It doesn’t matter if they play Southern Miss or Rutgers. What matters is how many tough games they play and how tough those games truly are.

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This year, Alabama will have road games against two teams who could easily be in the top 10. Texas A&M will almost certainly be in the top 5. Add in the season opener against Miami and the home games against Ole Miss and LSU, and the Crimson Tide will have quite the schedule. If they go undefeated, there is no doubt that they deserve the top spot in the polls.