Alabama Football: Media picks bowl and not Playoff for Tide

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

For the first time in years, Alabama Football is not on many lists of CFB Playoff contenders. Instead, the Alabama Crimson Tide is projected to be a non-Playoff bowl team.

Since the Playoff began in the 2014 season, Alabama has failed to make the four-team field only two times. Those were the 2019 and 2022 college football seasons. In the same period, the Crimson Tide has failed to reach the National Championship game three times; 2014, 2019, and 2022.

Alabama Football is the clear leader in CFB Playoff appearances with thirteen, including six National Championship games. Clemson is next with ten and four. Ohio State has seven and two. The upstart Georgia Bulldogs are at six and three. The Oklahoma Sooners have four Playoff appearances but have never advanced to the National Championship game.

A close review of Playoff predictions for the 2023 season shows a few sources sticking with the Crimson Tide in the top four. Most, including generally credible sources, have the Crimson Tide playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game.

The predictions cause little alarm among Alabama football fans. Well-known is a widespread anti-Alabama bias. Rather than sowing doubt among Alabama fans, the predictions elicit varying degrees of anger and distrust. Best of all is the expectation that underestimating the Alabama Crimson Tide will be a powerful motivator for Nick Saban’s roster.

Alabama Football and SEC Bowl Projections

Approaching too-early consensus has the SEC in 13 post-season games. Only Vanderbilt is not projected to be a bowl team.

  • Alabama Crimson Tide – Brett McMurphy has Alabama playing Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. 247Sports has the Crimson Tide in the Peach Bowl against the Tulane Green Wave. College Football News has the Crimson Tide as a Playoff team, along with Ohio State, Georgia and Texas. The Georgia Bulldogs are a consensus pick to not only make the Playoff but advance to the National Championship game.

The projections listed below for the other 11 SEC teams are 247Sports only.

  • LSU – Cotton Bowl vs. USC
  • Tennessee – Citrus Bowl vs. Wisconsin
  • Arkansas – Gator Bowl vs. FSU
  • Ole Miss – Music City Bowl vs. Maryland
  • Texas A&M – Texas Bowl vs. TCU
  • South Carolina – ReliaQuest Bowl vs. Minnesota
  •  Kentucky – Las Vegas Bowl vs. UCLA
  • Mississippi State – Gasparilla Bowl vs. Purdue
  • Missouri – Liberty Bowl vs. Oklahoma State
  • Florida – First Responder Bowl vs. Baylor

And making the ‘Tractor Trek’ up Hwy. 280 to the Birmingham Bowl will be Auburn to face Memphis.

Next. Tide still No. 1 for NFL teams. dark

In fairness to the Crimson Tide scoffers, an unsettled quarterback situation is troubling in an era when it takes much more than defense to win championships.