Alabama Football: Crimson Tide perspective on poll rankings and Playoffs

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

For Alabama Football, Saturday night was one more step. Going forward, the Homecoming win over Mississippi State was one down and (hopefully) seven more to go. All of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2022 goals, going back to a January disappointment, are still in play.

Most Alabama football fans believe the team is a contender. A few worry the Tide might be a pretender. During the open week, Bama Hammer will drill down on position group details at this point of the season.

Before starting that process, let’s take a look at the opinion of Alabama Football from outside the Crimson Nation.

A good starting point for Crimson Tide fans is the tweet below.

What matters over the next six weeks is which, among the 10 teams listed by Peter Burns, are the pretenders. Opinions vary greatly. Only one set of opinions matters and until a first look, on Nov. 1, we are left to guess.

Alabama Football is very much a Contender

Let’s consider the 10 teams, plus Wake Forest, based on the traditional polls, the ESPN FPI and the Sagarin Ratings. For simplicity, the summary below will use an order of AP Poll, Coaches Poll, FPI and Sagarin. The order has nothing to do with any assumed credibility of the sources.

  • Georgia Bulldogs – No. 1 (AP and Coaches); No. 3 (FPI and Sagarin)
  • Ohio State Buckeyes – No. 2 (AP and Coaches); No. 1 (FPI and Sagarin)
  • Tennessee Vols – No. 3 (AP and Coaches); No. 5 (FPI and Sagarin)
  • Michigan Wolverines – No. 4 (AP, Coaches, FPI and Sagarin)
  • Clemson Tigers – No. 5 (AP and Coaches); No. 7 (FPI; No. 10 (Sagarin)
  • Alabama Crimson Tide – No. 6 (AP and Coaches); No. 2 (FPI and Sagarin)
  • Texas Christian Horned Frogs – No. 7 (AP and Coaches); No. 15 (FPI); No. 13 (Sagarin)
  • Oregon Ducks – No. 8 (Ap and Coaches); No. 13 (FPI); No. 7 (Sagarin)
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys – No. 9 (AP and Coaches); No. 14 (FPI); No. 9 (Sagarin)
  • Southern Cal Trojans – No. 10, tied with Wake Forest (AP); No. 11 (Coaches); No. 10 (FPI); No. 6 (Sagarin)
  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons – No. 10, tied with USC (AP); No. 10 (Coaches); No. 19 (FPI); No. 15 (Sagarin)

Note: Wake Forest, in the same ACC division as Clemson, and having lost to the Tigers, has almost no path to the Playoffs.

Beyond Alabama being ranked higher in the two algorithms, there is another reason for Crimson Tide fans to give them heed. The CFB Playoff Selection Committee considers computer rankings in its calculations. How much value is given to the algorithms is not known.

Next. Mississippi State Game Studs and Duds. dark

The first look at the Selection Committee’s rankings on Nov.1 will provide clues to its final decisions in December. Each of the five successive, preliminary rankings will provide clues, but rarely, as much clarity as fans seek.