Alabama Football: Computer love for the Crimson Tide is crazy fun

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

A quick summary for Alabama football fans who might not have seen last week’s computer rankings post.

Last week we remembered that Crimson Tide fans often agreed with the rest of the college football world in deriding computer rankings of the 1998-2012 BCS period.

Perhaps the latest computer algorithms are superior to the ones everyone hated so much in the past. In today’s world, appreciating the value of sports analytics and distrusting computer rankings of teams are conflicting responses.

Maybe (and it is a ‘who knows’ maybe) the computers are sometimes as good as ‘eyeball’ tests from watching games.

Even if the only value is entertainment, Alabama football fans have good reason to cozy up to computer rankings this season. Unlike the AP and Coaches Polls, some of the computer rankings highly value the Crimson Tide.

Alabama Football Fans and Loving Computer Rankings

There are several credible computer rankings. The two used in this post are the two most well-known; ESPN’s FPI and Jeff Sagarin’s Ratings.

Sagarin and the Crimson Tide

In Sagarin’s latest (Oct. 1) Alabama Football is again ranked No. 1, just as it was last week. In Sagarin’s top 18 teams are six SEC teams. See below.

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide
  2. Ohio State Buckeyes
  3. Michigan Wolverines
  4. Penn State Nittany Lions
  5. Texas Longhorns
  6. Oklahoma Sooners
  7. Georgia Bulldogs
  8. Oregon Ducks
  9. Washington Huskies
  10. Southern Cal Trojans
  11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  12. Tennessee Vols
  13. Texas A&M Aggies
  14. Florida State Seminoles
  15. Ole Miss Rebels
  16. Kansas State Wildcats
  17. Clemson Tigers
  18. LSU Bengal Tigers

Sagarin has Alabama Football with the second-toughest schedule of the 18 teams. Among the 18 teams, only LSU’s schedule is ranked tougher than the Crimson Tide.

After its unimpressive win over Auburn, Georgia dropped four slots from last week’s No. 3. Georgia has the second-weakest schedule of the 18 teams, at No. 98 among all teams.

The Sagarin ratings for other SEC teams are Kentucky (28); Auburn (33); South Carolina (35); Arkansas (38); Missouri (40); Florida (44); Mississippi State (53); Vanderbilt (112).

ESPN’s FPI is not quite as bullish on the Crimson Tide. The FPI again has Alabama at No. 3. The current FPI has six SEC teams among its top 18 teams, as seen below.

ESPN FPI and the Crimson Tide

  1. Ohio State Buckeyes
  2. Oklahoma Sooners
  3. Alabama Crimson Tide
  4. Texas Longhorns
  5. Penn State Nittany Lions
  6. Oregon Ducks
  7. Georgia Bulldogs
  8. Michigan Wolverines
  9. Washington Huskies
  10. Florida State Seminoles
  11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  12. Southern Cal Trojans
  13. Ole Miss Rebels
  14. LSU Bengal Tigers
  15. Miami Hurricanes
  16. Texas A&M Aggies
  17. Clemson Tigers
  18. Tennessee Vols

College Football Playoff Chances

Based on the current FPI calculation, 11 teams have a 14% or better chance to make the Playoff. Alabama is one of the 11, at No. 8 with its chances increased from 21.8% to 26.7%.

Next. Angry Saban what the Tide needed. dark

Depending on the sportsbook, early lines have Alabama favored by 3-points to 7.5-points, against Texas A&M.