By now, most Alabama Football fans are aware that the Crimson Tide came in at no. 4 in the preseason AP Poll.
Some may feel that this ranking is too low for a program that has established and proven itself repeatedly under Coach Nick Saban. However, this ranking seems to be appropriate based on the way Alabama played last season and the relative question marks it has coming into 2023. It is also important to remember that a “low” ranking isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The AP Poll doesn’t mean much at this point in the year outside of providing a topic of discussion. Having observed Coach Saban’s program and method of operation over the last 15 years, what some would consider disrespect may only serve to benefit the Crimson Tide.
After a 2022 season in which Bama did not meet the program standard by all accounts, it should help that the 2023 group largely avoids the burden of lofty expectations.
Alabama Football Opponents in the AP Poll
As the poll currently stands, Bama will play five ranked teams in 2023. After a buy game to open the season, the Crimson Tide will host the no. 11 Texas Longhorns in a highly anticipated week two matchup. Given that no. 5 LSU plays no. 8 Florida State in week one and somebody has to lose, Texas will likely enter the top 10 heading into the matchup with Bama.
Alabama Football opens conference play facing no. 22 Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin in week four. Two weeks later, it travels to College Station to play Jimbo Fisher’s no. 23 Texas A&M Aggies.
The Third Saturday in October should once again be a marquee matchup, and will be a revenge game for the Tide for the first time since 2007. The Vols come in at no. 12 in the preseason poll, and could play their way into the top 10 by week eight.
Finally, Alabama will host no. 5 LSU in week ten. This SEC West showdown could decide the division, as it has plenty of times in the Saban era. If both teams live up to expectation, this matchup could even have College Football Playoff implications.
A quartet of SEC opponents fell just outside of the poll but received votes to be ranked. Arkansas (currently ranked no. 30), Kentucky (no. 33), Auburn (no. 37), Mississippi State (no. 41), could all potentially be ranked by the time they play the Crimson Tide.
As is typically the case for Alabama and other SEC teams, this schedule is no joke. In total, nine of Alabama’s 12 opponents received votes in the AP Poll.
The remainder of the Alabama Football schedule is made up of Middle Tennessee State, South Florida, and FCS UT-Chattanooga.