Alabama Football faces a schedule gauntlet in the 2024 season

Alabama Football is primed for a Playoff run at the end of the 2024 season, but the Crimson Tide's schedule is one of the nation's toughest.

Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA
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The 2024 Alabama football schedule gives new Crimson Tide head man Kalen DeBoer a second difficult challenge. His huge first challenge is succeeding Nick Saban. Notice the use of the word 'succeeding' instead of 'replacing'.

After Saban's retirement, national college football pundits spent weeks claiming DeBoer's second biggest challenge would be a depleted Alabama football roster. They were wrong. To the extent there was depletion, DeBoer and his staff have overcome it. The 2024 Alabama Crimson Tide will again have one of college football's most talented rosters - maybe even the most talented.

A true Alabama Crimson Tide challenge

What will be DeBoer's and Alabama's second-most difficult challenge is the 2024 schedule. 247's Brad Crawford believes half of the Crimson Tide's schedule could be nationally ranked in August. There will be five nationally ranked opponents. The only question is whether Wisconsin makes it six.

Crawford ranked the 15 toughest 2024 schedules and nine SEC teams were in the top 15. Alabama at the 15th toughest was joined by Georgia (14th), Kentucky (12th), Vanderbilt (8th), Mississippi State (7th), South Carolina (4th), Arkansas (3rd), Oklahoma (2nd), and Florida (1st).

Will Backus, writing for CBS Sports recently provided a list of the top 16, 2024 CFB Playoff contenders. Three of the Alabama Crimson Tide's regular-season opponents are on the list. They are Georgia, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The complete list is provided below.

  • 1) Georgia Bulldogs
  • 2) Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 3) Utah Utes
  • 4) Clemson Tigers
  • 5) Liberty Flames
  • 6) Oregon Ducks
  • 7) Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 8) Texas Longhorns
  • 9) Ole Miss Rebels
  • 10) Penn State Nittany Lions
  • 11) Alabama Crimson Tide
  • 12) Missouri Tigers
  • 13) Michigan Wolverines
  • 14) Arizona Wildcats
  • 15) Oklahoma State Cowboys
  • 16) Oklahoma Sooners

CFB Playoff speculation in April will not have lasting value. Even though much will change it is interesting to notice teams that are not on the CFB Playoff projection or the toughest schedules list.

Despite having less challenging schedules than nine SEC teams, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Auburn fail to make the top 16 list for the CFB Playoff. Auburn is not surprising and to a lesser extent neither is Texas A&M. Six SEC schools, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida, and Vanderbilt can only be perceived as Playoff contenders by a few of their most delusional fans.

Real slaps in the face go to LSU and Tennessee. The Bengal Tigers are coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons. If they don't make a 12-team CFB Playoff field, it can only be considered a setback for Brian Kelly and LSU. Tennessee slipped to nine wins last season after 11 wins in 2022. It seems their 2022, 52-49 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide did not signal a program leaping forward into annual championship contention.

Jalen Milroe may have already won the Alabama Crimson Tide QB1 job. Jalen Milroe may have already won the Alabama Crimson Tide QB1 job. dark. Next