Analyst Reveals Key Variable to the 2023 Alabama Football Season

Getty ESPN’s Bill Connelly revealed what the key variable to the upcoming 2023 Alabama football season

The 2023 Alabama football season is one that will feature great turnover from the past two seasons from both a coaching staff and on-field personnel standpoint. ESPN’s Bill Connelly called change the key variable for the Crimson Tide in a piece that also explored the floors and ceilings of FBS football’s top 25.

“Epic change,” Connelly wrote. “Quarterback Bryce Young, edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. and both coordinators are gone, replaced by Tommy Rees on offense and Kevin Steele on defense. Nick Saban remains an ace recruiter, and the Crimson Tide’s depth chart will be as loaded as ever with former blue-chippers. But with Saban passing on a transfer quarterback for now, either Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson or an incoming freshman (Eli Holstein or Dylan Lonergan) will be piloting a new-look, new-identity (and new O-line) offense. The defense will have about seven new starters, too.”

Connelly had a cautious tone when asking the question most Alabama fans would rather suppress after seeing stars like Young, Anderson, and Jahmyr Gibbs all declaring for the NFL draft. “How much change is too much?”

Georgia Projected to Win Third Straight Title

Change is also something two-time defending national champion Georgia will be dealing with with the loss of Heisman finalist Stetson Bennett. Connelly noted the change under center and at offensive coordinator with Mike Bobo replacing new Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken — but also projected a championship for the reigning No. 1 team in the sport.

“Stetson Bennett is gone, and while his replacement — be it junior Carson Beck, sophomore Brock Vandagriff or redshirt freshman Gunner Stockton — will inevitably have been much more well-touted than Bennett was coming out of high school, the bar is high, especially with a new (and old) offensive coordinator in Mike Bobo,” he wrote. “Still, the Dawgs return tight end Brock Bowers, receiver Ladd McConkey, three offensive line starters and a majority of last year’s starting defense. They’ve got what they need to make a run at a third straight national title as long as the quarterback position and playcalling aren’t outright weaknesses.”

Currently, Georgia has the top odds to win the 2024 College Football National Championship with +300 (bet $100 to profit 300), while Alabama football is tied with Ohio State for the second best odds at +600 according to BetMGM.

Alabama Football Not Only In-State Program With 11-win Ceiling

As it turns out, Alabama football has some in-state competition when it comes to the best record in the state during the 2023 season. It’s not from the only other Alabama program to ever win a national championship in college football, Auburn. Instead, it’s defending Sun Belt champion Troy projected to have a ceiling of 11 wins according to Connelly.

“Jon Sumrall’s Trojans won maybe the best ever Sun Belt in 2022, and with much of the conference losing loads of last year’s production, Troy returns around 14 starters,” Connelly wrote. “They will face a major challenge from JMU and South Alabama at the least, but they’ll have a shot at another huge season. The offense sure could help out more, though. Troy ranked just 106th in offensive SP+, creating occasional huge plays but falling behind schedule a lot. Can QB Gunnar Watson and company more consistently execute the small plays to go with the big ones?”

While Troy likely won’t have a chance for a College Football Playoff berth in 2023 even with an 11-win season, they would qualify in 2024 when the postseason expands to 12 teams.