2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Alabama Crimson Tide
No. 1: Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama Crimson Tide Prespring Status
Oh, that’s just great. Now Nick Saban has something to really motivate his ridiculously talented team. Even with a rough College Football Playoff National Championship on both sides of the ball, Bama was one defensive stop and one second away from possibly taking a second straight national title, and that was with a team that lost the offensive backfield, an NFL defensive front, and just enough other key parts to throw around the word rebuild.
As always, the pros are taking away several superstar players, but there are more where they came from. Seven starters are back on offense, five return on D, and as always, there are enough four-and-five-star talents ready to take over where needed.
Alabama Crimson Tide Biggest Issue
The new starters have to be ready up front. Spring ball is everything for Jalen Hurts and a passing game that went bye-bye in the CFP, and the secondary might lose a few pro starters, but the front seven will get the most attention. Jonathan Allen and Calvin Tomlinson are gone off the ends, but Alabama never seems to have a problem finding more gigantic human beings to step in.
Losing Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster, though, is a problem, even for the Crimson Tide. Rashaan Evans is back to lead the linebacking corps, but those other three were permanent residents in the backfield. Along with the ends, five of the top six pass rusher now have to be replaced.
Alabama Crimson Tide Biggest Positive
The running game. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll might not have it too hard early on – run, keep running, and don’t stop.
Bo Scarbrough won’t be ignored – he’ll get a few more than 125 carries this year – while Damien Harris will be one of the nation’s least-hyped returning 1,000-yard backs. Hurts ran for 954 yards and 13 scores, too, but that gets lost in the shuffle after his problems throwing the ball late in the year.
In all, nine of the ten players who gained a positive rushing yard – WR ArDarius Stewart is the one missing piece – return, working behind another amazing line.
Really, Why Are The Alabama Crimson Tide Ranked Here?
If last year’s team could start the season No. 1 after all it lost, then this year’s version should be cemented in the top spot without blinking. Even with all the massive losses on defense, it’s Alabama – it’s going to finish in the top five in total, scoring, and run D again. Meanwhile, the offense should be even more of a machine if Hurts can find a better passing touch.
However, spring ball will be interesting with several position battles – including at quarterback – getting national attention.