What is Alabama’s Ceiling and Floor in 2023?
The Crimson Tide find themselves in an unfamiliar spot as we head into the summer. Perhaps rightfully so, it seems Nick Saban and Alabama are doubted more so than they have been in a long time entering a season. Bringing in a quarterback out of the portal who has been average at best during his career at Notre Dame certainly didn’t strike confidence in what is on the roster.
Alabama will benefit from the fact, however, that practically every on paper “difficult” game will be played at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Instead of traveling to LSU, Tennessee, and Texas, the Tide will get to host these games on their home turf, a place where you could count the amount of Alabama losses under Saban with your two hands.
Of course, an Iron Bowl in Jordan-Hare always presents trouble, and in a “floor” scenario, then it’s a game Alabama loses. I honestly believe Auburn will be good enough to make it one of the most anticipated Iron Bowls in recent memory. Running through the schedule, Alabama opens with a win against MTSU before a very talented Texas team arrives looking for revenge.
Facing facts, Texas would have won the game in Austin if not for the injury to Quinn Ewers. Alabama will have to play much better than they did last season to defeat the Longhorns. After Texas, it’s a road matchup at South Florida which should be an easy win followed by Ole Miss at home and a quick trip to Starkville.
The second road game in a row will see Alabama’s return to College Station after losing there in 2021, then three home games in a row against Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU. Alabama will finish with a road trip at Kentucky, then Chattanooga at home before the Iron Bowl.
In a “ceiling” scenario, of course you have to say the ceiling for Alabama is a national championship. Under Nick Saban, it always will be. But with the uncertainty at QB, I would have a hard time seeing 12-0 even in a best case scenario. I believe the ceiling is 11-1 and a date with the Dawgs in Atlanta for a spot in the College Football Playoff, just like in 2021.
In a “floor” scenario, this would mean everything went off the rails, the QB play is terrible, the defense and run game are not good enough to rely on to win games with, and the team is flat out not very good. While the games are at home, Alabama would lose at least two or even three of them if things play out this way. Likely starting with Texas.
And that’s with road matchups still at A&M, Mississippi State, and Auburn. I think this makes the floor (and boy oh boy is it a floor) 8-4 for Alabama. Not out of the realm of possibility, but probably unlikely. Time will tell how Alabama’s season goes, but I believe these are about the best and worst case scenarios for the Crimson Tide.