ESPN’s College Game Day started back up on Saturday morning, and the gang led off the show talking about Alabama’s prospects to make it back to the College Football Playoff for a third consecutive year.
The Crimson Tide enter the season as the consensus No. 1 team, but that didn’t stop Kirk Herbstreit from highlighting one thing that could keep the Crimson Tide from the promised land: Leadership.
“Are they going to have the leadership? That’s the key commodity that he’s enjoyed,” Herbstreit said. “They’ve lost a lot there over the last couple of years. They’ve always had the bodies. That would be the thing that holds them back this year.”
Most notably, Alabama lost linebacker Reuben Foster to the NFL following last season. It’s not yet clear who will take over that role for the The Tide, and that could become worrisome if no one emerges. Quarterback Jalen Hurts is still only a true sophomore.
All four of Alabama’s captains last season — Cam Robinson, Jonathan Allen, Eddie Jackson and Foster – now play in the NFL.
Herbstreit also said he thought Auburn would be Alabama’s biggest threat to regaining the throne, given that this year’s Iron Bowl is at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Alabama also plays one of the toughest non-conference games in the country this season, against No. 3 Florida State in Atlanta on Sept. 2. That game will kickoff at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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