Alabama Football: A shift in perceptions about the Rose Bowl favorite

Alabama football fans may not have noticed yet, but the 'tide' has turned in predictions of which team is going to win the Rose Bowl.
Kirby Lee/GettyImages

A couple of days after Alabama Football was announced as a CFB Playoff semi-final team, I made a prediction. The anchor for the prediction was that no matter what oddsmakers decided, the Alabama Crimson Tide was "no underdog in the Rose Bowl."

The actual prediction was the world of college football pundits needed time to figure out what Alabama Football is now, compared to what it was in the first half of the season. I was confident that close to the game there would be a bandwagon effect of college football experts picking the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The bandwagon is not only moving, it is gaining steam.

Thursday afternoon, the CBS group of college football experts issued their final game predictions. Six of the seven CBS experts picked the Crimson Tide to win. They are Tom Fornelli, Jerry Palm, Dennis Dodd, Chip Patterson, Shehan Jeyarajah, and Barrett Sallee. Particularly in the case of Sallee, Alabama football fans sometimes deride the quality of punditry. Let's put that aside in this case. The only CBS pundit who picked Michigan to win outright was David Cobb.

It is interesting that while most of the CBS group picked Texas to beat Washington, there was more disagreement about the Sugar Bowl than about the Rose Bowl. Two picked Washington to beat Texas.

Also on Thursday, six Sporting News experts made their Rose Bowl picks. Just like CBS, only one expert picked Michigan. Four of the five who picked the Crimson Tide to win gave Alabama a three-point winning margin. The other prediction was a Crimson Tide four-point win.

The SN expert who picked Michigan was Mike Decourcy, who wrote,

"The only thing that makes me nervous about Michigan entering this game is how rarely they've played anyone even remotely capable of beating them. They've had to get up for two games, really."

Mike Decourcy

Decourcy picked the Wolverines to win by five points.

Other Assessments of an Alabama Football Win

"Jalen Milroe will do his best impression of Jalen Hurts mashed up with Tua Tagovailoa as once again the Crimson Tide are led by hot quarterback play at the right time."

Vinnie Tyler, The Sporting News

"... this is not your typical Alabama team. We've seen the Crimson Tide struggle against inferior competition at times this season, and the Wolverines defense is legitimate; it will cause the Tide plenty of problems."

Tom Fornelli, CBS

Will the game be as close as all these experts predict? Maybe it will be. All that matters is winning.