You can count ESPN analyst Paul Finebaum among those believing in Alabama heading into the 2020 college football season.
Alabama had a disappointing 2019 season – by Alabama standards, anyway. The Crimson Tide missed the College Football Playoff, but beat Michigan, 35-16, in the Citrus Bowl.
Clemson and Ohio State appear to be getting more hype heading into the fall, but Finebaum is a strong believer in the Crimson Tide right now.
“I talked to (Nick Saban) a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not trying to be a psychologist,” Finebaum said on WJOX-FM in Birmingham, per 247Sports. “I’m not. But I detected, on one level, a resolve. But on another level, a little bit of exhaustion of the circumstances right now. He knows that the clock is ticking, and if he doesn’t get a full season, he knows that’s another opportunity. Most people connected to that program will tell you that this Alabama team has National Championship written all over it. There’s some debate about the quarterback but not really. They have two really-strong quarterbacks, even though we haven’t seen one in Bryce Young. I think that has to be weighing on him.
“On the other side, while everyone was in shock on March 12 when Alabama shut down and everyone else did, too, Nick Saban didn’t go home that night and check out the Netflix library. I’m pretty certain that he came up with a game plan immediately. Nick Saban is no longer in this just to walk on the practice field on July 31. He’s in this to enhance his resume, which already stands as the greatest in college football history.”
Alabama is certainly among the favorites to win it all, but Clemson and Ohio State are seen by most as the frontrunners, probably due to the quarterback position.
The Tigers and the Buckeyes are bringing back Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, respectively, while Mac Jones will likely start in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama is set to open the 2020 season on Sept. 5 against USC.