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NCAAF · 14 days ago

Is it Time to Sell Alabama as a National Championship Contender?

John David Yonke

John David Yonke

Is it Time to Sell Alabama as a National Championship Contender?

Since 2009, Nick Saban has won six National Championships with the Alabama Crimson Tide. That’s an exceptional level of dominance that has entrenched the Tide as perennial contenders to be on the top of the sport come the season’s conclusion. 

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It’s gained respect, and it’s deserved whether or not the Tide are performing at an optimal level. That’s relevant now more than ever after a 2-1 start to the season that includes a 34-24 loss to the Texas Longhorns, who former Saban assistant Steve Sarkisian coaches. 

Each of the last two National Championships has been won by the Georgia Bulldogs, who another former Saban assistant, Kirby Smart, coaches. The irony is obvious, and it asks if the sport is passing Saban by. 

Is Alabama still a National Championship contender in 2023? Or have the Tide been left in the dust by the newest contenders? 

Let’s cut right to the negatives. The Tide were outplayed at home by Texas, losing the yardage battle 363 to 454 and the first downs battle 18 to 23. It was a glaring end to a 21-game home winning streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and it came shockingly.

Alabama was outplayed up front. The Tide were outgunned at quarterback. The schemes on both sides of the ball did not offer much reason for encouragement. Does anyone feel great about either offensive coordinator Tommy Rees or defensive coordinator Kevin Steele? I don’t see how you can have much optimism regarding those hires. 

You’d think they would follow that loss by taking some anger out on the poor South Florida Bulls, their next opponent in Week 3. However, that wasn’t the case as they limped to an uninspiring 17-3 victory and gained just 310 total yards against one of the nation’s worst defenses a year ago. 

Quarterback is still a significant concern. Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner looked utterly lost in his first taste of game action with his new squad, completing just 5 of 14 attempts for 34 yards. Ty Simpson entered in relief and was better (5 of 9 passing for 73 yards), but it tells you all that you need to know that the staff has since named Jalen Milroe the starting quarterback again for Week 4 against the Ole Miss Rebels. 

Current odds at FanDuel Sportsbook list the Tide at +5000 in the National Championship futures market, tied for the 12th-shortest odds in the country. 

Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if Alabama made a run to the College Football Playoff, considering it is one of the most talented teams in the country and is coached by a legend written off after one early-season loss. That being said, it would surprise me if this team won two straight games if it were to make the playoffs. There are too many negatives for me to believe this team can turn the season around in such a drastic fashion. 

There are still a lot of question marks and weak points with the teams listed above the Tide in the futures market, but that doesn’t negate the deficiencies of this year’s Alabama team. 

Is Alabama a contender to make the College Football playoff? Sure. But a contender to win the National Championship? I don’t think so.

2023 National Championship Verdict

Sell Alabama (+5000) to win the National Championship

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