Alabama is probably going to be back in the playoff again.
Alabama is the best program in the country, and this past season, it proved it once again by reaching the College Football Playoff and winning the national title. Next season, barring a major meltdown, it's hard to see the Tide not at least qualifying for the event again. Between the team's talent and its favorable schedule, it'll likely be smooth sailing.
Alabama's 2018 slate is turning out to be quite favorable, in fact. Let's take a look at it:
- Sept. 1 - vs. Louisville (Orlando)
- Sept. 8 - Arkansas State
- Sept. 15 - at Ole Miss
- Sept. 22 - Texas A&M
- Sept. 29 - UL-Lafayette
- Oct. 6 - at Arkansas
- Oct. 13 - Missouri
- Oct. 20 - at Tennessee
- Nov. 3 - at LSU
- Nov. 10 - Mississippi State
- Nov. 17 - The Citadel
- Nov. 24 - Auburn
First, Alabama dodged a bit of a bullet when Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson announced he'd be declaring for the NFL Draft after this past season.
We're not saying Jackson would have been enough to take down the Tide, but he certainly would have made the game more competitive.
Second, Alabama's other three non-con games are laughable. The Tide get Arkansas State, UL-Lafayette and The Citadel - all at home.
Third, Tennessee, Alabama's permanent crossover from the SEC East, is as down as its ever been. Alabama also drew Missouri from the SEC East. They avoided Georgia, Florida and a somewhat-resurgent South Carolina.
You never know in college football - but the way things look now, Alabama is going to have a pretty easy time defending its national title - at least until the College Football Playoff comes around.