This time last year, the first-ever College Football Playoff ranking was released.
Only one of the eventual four playoff teams — Florida State — was included in the top four, while Oregon (No. 5), Alabama (No. 6) and champion Ohio State (No. 16) were out of the picture.
Two SEC teams — Mississippi (No. 1) and Mississippi State (No. 4) — were given big props early, but neither squad was in the final ranking’s top six.
We tell you this because Alabama will almost certainly not be included in this year’s first draft, which will be released on Nov. 3.
But, as we learned in 2014, there’s no need to overreact.
There will be six polls before the committee decides on its final selections Dec. 6. By then, Alabama will have completed a daunting SEC schedule and hypothetically capped it off with a win in the SEC Championship Game.
Winning out will virtually guarantee a spot in the College Football Playoff. If, say, both ‘Bama and Ole Miss run the table — and Mississippi takes care of business at the Georgia Dome — the conference could see two teams in the field.
Many fans will be upset at Alabama’s initial ranking next week.
But they’d be smart to let it be, and then re-enter the debate after the Tide take care of business in November.