Alabama football loses significant ground in way-too-early Top 25

Since losing to Michigan in the Rose Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal, the Alabama football program has gone through a lot.

Nick Saban retired. The transfer portal produced some key departures. A few 2024 commits signed elsewhere. As a result, ESPN has grown wary of the Crimson Tide.

Though there have been plenty of negatives, it is important to remember  there has also been plenty of positive news. New head coach Kalen DeBoer is a proven winner. He has hired a strong staff. There have been some impressive pickups via the transfer portal and the recruiting trail.

ESPN’s original way-too-early Top 25 for the 2024 college football season had Alabama ranked No. 4, but that is no longer the case. In the latest rankings, the Crimson Tide have fallen to No. 9, which makes DeBoer’s team the fifth-highest-ranked SEC team.

No sense in complaining about a top-10 ranking, but being fifth in the conference the Tide just won last season is interesting.

Marco Schlabach of ESPN writes,

“Alabama’s transition under former Washington coach Kalen DeBoer has already been rocky, with Downs and highly regarded quarterback Julian Sayin transferring to Ohio State, Bond and tight end Amari Niblack jumping to Texas, offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor returning home to Iowa and several players leaving for the NFL. Then, making matters worse, offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb and offensive line coach Scott Huff took jobs with the Seattle Seahawks last week. Saban’s dynasty wasn’t built with Tinkertoys, so the Crimson Tide will be fine in the long run.”

The Crimson Tide’s 2024 season, and the DeBoer era, begins on Aug. 31 in Tuscaloosa against Western Kentucky. We don’t know where Alabama will be ranked to start the season. Neither do we know what to expect from this team. The standard, however, is to compete for the conference title and a national championship.

Roll Tide Wire will continue to follow Alabama football as the 2024 offseason progresses.

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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire