Alabama Football: After week one CFB Playoff contenders

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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With a week-plus of college football games behind us, now is a good time to look at CFB Playoff contenders. Alabama football fans are always ready to talk Playoffs. After missing the field last year, Alabama is one of the early top favorites to make the final four.

Some college football fans believe September is too early to start rating Playoff contenders. No team that had a chance before the season began has been eliminated with one loss. But there is no arguing the paths for LSU and Clemson suddenly became much steeper.

Another problem for both sets of Tigers is in their losses, neither team looked like a Playoff contender. In fact, both teams gave strong impressions of having quit before the games ended.

Still, not being labeled a Playoff contender after week one does not mean a team can’t become one later in the season.

Alabama football fans were excited when an updated ESPN FPI, (after the games on Sept. 3) ranked the Crimson Tide No. 1. In that position, Alabama was projected to have the best chance to make the Playoffs at 62.1%.

Before week one of the new season, ESPN’s Playoff Predictor projected that 11 teams had a 13% or higher chance of making the Playoffs. At that point, the Crimson Tide was projected to have a 55% probability. Only Ohio State was projected higher at 70%.

In the updated FPI, ESPN has 12 teams with a 15% probability or higher. The full list is provided below. Not among the 12 teams are the LSU Bengal Tigers. LSU plummeted from ESPN’s earlier projection of 19% probability down to currently 1.7%. A similar descent will happen to Clemson.

Alabama Football Leads ESPN Playoff Projection (as of 9/4)

  • Alabama Crimson Tide – 62.1%
  • Ohio State Buckeyes – 60.4%
  • Georgia Bulldogs – 36.1%
  • Oklahoma Sooners – 34.8%
  • Southern Cal Trojans – 23.9%
  • Florida State Seminoles – 23%. The Noles were at 7% in ESPN’s earlier projection.
  • Michigan Wolverines – 18.8%
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish – 17.2%
  • Clemson Tigers – 16.8% (before the loss to Duke)
  • Texas Longhorns – 15.9%
  • Penn State Nittany Lions – 15.3%
  • Oregon Ducks – 15%

A hat tip is due to Duke coach, Mike Elko who has turned the Blue Devils around quickly.

Next. Doubts rise about Texas chance against the Crimson Tide. dark

Bama Hammer will follow the Contender/Pretender progress every week until the CFB Playoff committee makes its first ranking in late October.