Thank ESPN for its latest 2024 Top 25 that bumped Alabama Football down five spots

ESPN downgraded Alabama Football in its most recent, way too early Top 25. The network did the Crimson Tide a favor.
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Fans come up with many reasons to disparage ESPN. Like all the national platforms 'anything for sizzle' is the norm. On Tuesday, ESPN gave Alabama football fans a reason to say thank you to the 'Worldwide Leader.'

Shortly after the National Championship Game, ESPN published its first too early Top 25 for the 2024 season. Coming before Nick Saban's retirement, the Crimson Tide was placed at No. 4, behind No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Texas, and No. 3 Oregon. Crimson Tide fans did not bash ESPN's No. 4 ranking. After all, no one knows how good any team will be eight months in advance of a season.

On Tuesday ESPN updated its way to early Top 25. The top five spots went to the Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, and Notre Dame.

Also above the Alabama Crimson Tide were No. 6 Ole Miss, No. 7 Missouri and No. 8 Penn State.

ESPN's explanation of moving the Crimson Tide to No. 9 was not unfair. Compared to the recent chorus of Alabama nay-sayers, the ESPN take was mild.

"DeBoer knows how to build a championship program, but Alabama fans may need to be patient."


Two things immediately came to mind. Kalen DeBoer deserved the credit for his championship-building results at Washington, but he does not have to build a championship program in Tuscaloosa - he inherited one.

Another immediate response was calling for patience among Alabama fans is pointless. The level of expectation for Alabama Football will not recede in the Tide's post-Saban era. Even if reason suggests lowered expectations might be warranted, no Alabama fan will be willing to accept the Crimson Tide being the SEC's fifth-best team, or fourth, third, or second.

ESPN did Alabama Football a favor

Moving beyond the immediate responses, it is possible to believe ESPN did the Alabama Crimson Tide a favor. Kalen DeBoer's first Alabama football roster will have way too much talent to be the SEC's fifth-best team. The Alabama players know that and what ESPN's early No. 9 ranking provides is added fuel for a team that will be primed to prove its detractors wrong. For that, ESPN is to be thanked for the motivational boost.

ESPN's ranking will not prove accurate. That's not because ESPN does a poor job in predictions, but because all offseason predictions are flawed. If ESPN is correct, Alabama will play two of the top seven teams in Georgia and Missouri and three more in the top 16 teams in LSU, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The last three all being road games for the Crimson Tide. That is a tough schedule, but it deserves just one response - Bring It On.