Alabama Football: ’22 Schedule Strength, SEC Championship and Playoffs

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Any list of teams in contention for a ’22 Playoff slot that does not include Alabama Football and Georgia would be a joke. There is a high probability the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs will meet in Atlanta again, with both teams advancing to the CFB Playoffs.

Alabama fans don’t have much to crow about with the Tide’s strength of schedule (SOS) for the regular season. The same is true for Georgia fans. The Crimson Tide 2022, regular-season schedule is similar to last season.

Using the final rankings provided by Jeff Sagarin, last season’s Crimson Tide 12 regular season opponents ranked an average of 63.3. The range went from Ole Miss at No. 13, to New Mexico State at No. 183. Using last season’s rankings, the worst team on the Tide’s ’22 schedule is Austin Peay at No. 159, but the average for all 12, 2022 opponents is 60.3.

Narrowing it down to the six best teams on the 2021 and 2022 schedules and the averages are almost identical; 24.8 for 2021 and 25 for 2022.

Taking nothing away from other SEC teams, but the Crimson Tide has one serious 2022 threat from a regular-season opponent; Texas A&M. As Miami was last season, Texas will be outmatched. Utah State won 11 games last season, but the Aggies will not beat the Tide.

Alabama Football and a Playoff Play-In Game

The A&M game is likely a play-in game in the Crimson Tide path to the Playoffs. A 12-0 Tide could lose the SEC Championship game and still be one of the top four teams.

2022 Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule

Georgia has a much easier path. Even with improved and improving SEC East teams like Kentucky and Tennessee, along with possibly Florida and South Carolina, the Bulldogs don’t have much competition. Oregon, with a new coach and a QB retread in Bo Nix has almost no chance against Georgia. SEC West opponents, Auburn in Athens and Mississippi State in Starkville pose little threat to the Bulldogs.

Nothing above a competent performance from Kirby Smart will be needed to get the Bulldogs to Atlanta with a 12-0 record.

Stepping back for a moment – this post includes a load of rat poison. Predicting 2022 team performance from 2021 rankings is flawed. Teams will improve (and regress) during the season. Upsets will happen. But given the schedules, excluding the Texas A&M vs. Alabama game, the Crimson Tide and Georgia will not lose in the regular season – unless they give an opponent plenty of help by beating themselves.

Next. Put up or shut up for Jimbo. dark

Plenty of college football experts are predicting Alabama and Georgia will make the Playoffs again. There may or may not be two other teams worthy of being included.