clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Blog Poll Week 12: Until proven otherwise, Alabama is the best team in the country

What is the one team no one wants to play right now?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Alabama at Kentucky Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington has the corrupt officiating and explosive offense, Oregon plays some semblance of defense in a conference bereft of it, Michigan struggle snuggled their way to a win that was within striking distance for the worst PSU offense you’ve seen since Joe Pa was handing out Sandusky bath scrunchies, Ohio State continues its tired act of riding MAC titles all the way to Indianapolis and ringing it up on conference dregs, FSU gets an ACC slate and Georgia gets the cozy schedule from the SEC, Texas escapes game after game against mediocrities....

...And all the while, the Crimson Tide are only getting better and better. Already possessing the most explosive defense among the true contenders, with perhaps the three best players at their position in the country, the Tide really only needed one thing to come along. The offense.

Boy, has it. Tommy Rees has been a very good playing caller after the half this year, and Milroe has been effective going over the top all season. But what happens when Rees plays to the strengths of the roster? When Milroe begins to understand the position more? When the Tide up the tempo a bit and simplify the system? When the backs are getting holes to run in? When receivers aren’t dropping passes? When playcalling keeps opponents on their heels and the Tide’s talent is free to roam?

You get what you have seen the past two weeks, a simply devastating Alabama team with a Heisman candidate at quarterback, a defense tallying NOTs, and one that improves game by game. A complete team that is only growing, a young team aging into veterans before our eyes.

No one wants to play this team right now.

And while there are a few programs who could make that claim, there are none who can make it against Alabama’s SOS — currently 1st overall in the nation.

For that reason, we’re leaving ‘Bama at No. 1. And until someone takes it from them, they’ve earned it and are staying there.

Usual caveats: The criteria are nebulous, far-ranging, and capricious — strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away results, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, can you cover a spread (Vegas is pretty smart about how good a team is), head-to-head where possible or prudent, and my own lying eyeballs.

  • Texas still has the best single win of the season, and alongside Alabama, is the only playoff contender with a Top 10 SOS — sure, they have a loss. QUELL SURPRISE! When you play hard schedules, not every game is going to be a patsy. If the Tide and Horns run the table, they’ll have earned their spot. Aren’t we supposed to be rewarding this?
  • Washington was once again bailed out at home in a one-score game by a beyond-friendly P12 officiating crew. If I’m Jonathan Smith and the Beavers, I am preemptively in the league’s ear about cooking the books for CFP positioning Straight up, Oregon State can get them this week.
  • With Beav, Oregon remains the only other semicompetent team that tries to play both sides of the’s also the worst coached of the bunch. Lanning has given away four 4th quarter wins in two seasons with piss poor decisions. And the schedule simply is not strong enough to justify a playoff spot if they don’t run the table...see also, Washington.
  • Utah gets a week out of the polls to think about what they’ve done...mainly allow one of the worst rushing offenses in the P12 to go nuts for a half and put the Utes in a hole.
  • What to make of Oklahoma? Is this the team that can beat Texas in a perfect storm, meekly roll over for Kansas? Both?
  • Kansas/Kansas State this week could be very good...or could be a blowout for either squad. The fact you can’t predict which and why sort of shows you the limitations of both.
  • Georgia looked good on Saturday, but we’re gonna’ put a Pete Golding asterisk on there. The Rebels surrendered the most yards gained by UGA in half a decade and Ole Miss’s worst loss in several years. It didn’t help that Lane Kiffin was distracted by a federal lawsuit and once again, the league gave UGA its hardest games at home. The Dawgs have played three teams with winning records, and all three were at home. Shocker, I know.
  • The Mountain imploded this week, with Air Force taking another bad loss and Fresno crumbling against San Jose State. UNLV/Air Force this week will decided the regular season title. Woof.
  • Liberty and James Madison are terrifying.
  • SMU needs more love than they’re getting, and Tulane needs to pay attention more than they’ve done this season. They’ve won 7 in a row but haven’t quite been right after folding against Ole Miss.
  • Is Penn State just Iowa with more hype? Or, as someone suggested today, just Purdue with five-stars. Once again, the Nittany Lions faced a challenge, and once again were unable to generate offense, field a functional quarterback, or even be coached competently. As usual, PSU will win 10 games, and not have a quality win on the schedule. Franklin is getting $10 million a season for that too — man, we’re in the wrong line of work.
  • I’m pretty sure it’s more an indictment of 2023 than it is a testament to Brohm that Louisville is a borderline Top 10 team.
  • For the first time this season, the Vols had one of those anticipated Road Heupel Meltdowns, and it was a beaut: 36-7 Mizzou. Tennessee was so focused on beating Georgia next week that it forgot to play the very good team on its schedule this week.
  • Toledo is just quietly good and finally putting together a complete season that has eluded Jason Candle the past few seasons.
  • LSU and Notre Dame — The remaining ranked teams with a Top 10 schedule, and no coincidence that they’ve won as many quality games as they’ve lost.
  • For the first time this season, FSU looked mortal for 60 minutes at home. The Noles just out-talented the Canes, because Miami brought their lunch and made this nip and tuck in ‘Hassee all night. If I’m FSU Man, I’m very worried that an even better coached group (like Luhvl or UNC) may have just cracked the code in the ACCCG.


Does being undefeated matter as much as strength of schedule?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Yes. You beat everyone who’s on your schedule and should be rewarded for it.
    (564 votes)
  • 20%
    No. Quality wins matter far more than a schedule full of scrubs. Any good team can rack up wins against bad opponents.
    (502 votes)
  • 56%
    (1385 votes)
2451 votes total Vote Now