Alabama is Ranked #1 in AP Poll for First Time Since 2002

Alabama Alabama Head Coach Nate Oats coaches against Auburn at Neville Arena in Auburn, AL on Saturday, Feb 11, 2023.

After a lot of speculation for a good part of the year as to whether the Alabama Crimson Tide would have the opportunity to be ranked as the #1 team in the country at any point, Nate Oats and co. have done it. Alabama has surpassed Purdue and Houston and grabbed the top spot in the nation for the first time in over 20 years, when they spent a brief two-week stint at the top early in the year before dropping 9 of their first 12 SEC games.

This Crimson Tide team is truly special. They have a lot of work to do and must make a postseason run to truly go down in Alabama history books, but talent wise, they are without a doubt the best Alabama team to ever take the basketball court. Ultimately, the number one ranking doesn’t mean a whole lot. As Nate Oats said yesterday, it is nice to get the recognition, but it’s what they do with it that will be remembered:

Alabama will take on a Tennessee team tomorrow night that has lost back-to-back games on devastating buzzer beaters and will be hungry for a huge win over the #1 team in the country. The matchup in Knoxville is without a doubt the most difficult game remaining on Alabama’s schedule, and if the Tide can get past the Vols on Wednesday, going undefeated in the SEC is not the craziest thought.

Regardless, Alabama must continue to play well and ignore their ranking, because again, the difference between being ranked 1 or 2 or 3 is essentially negligible. Oats borrowed a line from Nick Saban is calling the ranking “rat poison”, and knows that Tennessee will be ready to go tomorrow night. If Alabama plays like the ranking indicates, they will be tough to beat.