2024 Alabama Crimson Tide and the 'Big Dog' SEC

If one preseason ranking is accurate, the Alabama Crimson Tide and eight other SEC programs will dominate the 2024 college football season.

Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
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Preseason rankings before the second Transfer Portal transition settles in April or May are at best limited. Maybe they only provide entertainment value. Nonetheless, a recent preseason ranking is worthy of extra notice.

A few days ago, ESPN's Bill Connelly released his first SP+ rankings for the 2024 season. Connelly reminds us his rankings are a "predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football, not a résumé ranking." His effort is not intended to project how teams will be ranked at the end of any season.

The Texas Longhorns website, Longhorns Wire published Connelly's SP+ top 15 teams. SEC teams dominated the list from Georgia at No. 1 to Tennessee at No. 15. Nine of the 15 ranked teams are SEC programs. The other six spots in the top 15 were assigned to four Big Ten teams, plus Notre Dame and Florida State.

All of the 15 teams are listed below. Alabama Crimson Tide fans will be both excited and wary that Bama will play five of the SP+ top 15 in the regular season. Without chasing down schedule data for other top college football programs, it can be claimed no team has more of a regular season challenge than the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Another inescapable conclusion is warranted if season results come close to matching the SP+ rankings. It is that no Power Four exists in college football. The SEC is so potentially dominant even a Power Two is a stretch. The ACC and Big 12 are not exactly 'Group of 5' quality conferences, but it is particularly difficult to assign to the Big 12 any 'Power' conference status.

Alabama Crimson Tide and the rest of the SP+ Top 15

No. 1 - Georgia Bulldogs

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes

No. 3 Oregon Ducks

No. 4 Texas Longhorns

No. 5 Michigan Wolverines

No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide

No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions

No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels

No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

No. 10 LSU Bengal Tigers

No. 11 Missouri Tigers

No. 12 Florida State Seminoles

No. 13 Texas A&M Aggies

No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners

No. 15 Tennessee Vols

For fans wondering about the other 7 SEC teams, take a look at the tweet below. Try to ignore it is provided by a Georgia Bulldogs fan.

The gap below Tennessee's rating that begins with Auburn and goes down to Mississippi State is staggering if it proves accurate. It can be concluded the SEC has three tiers. One is the nine top 15 teams listed above. Next comes Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State. The Vanderbilt Commodores are the sole team in the SEC's 'cellar' tier.

Crimson Tide's 5 Main Strengths. dark. Next. Crimson Tide's 5 Main Strengths