2017 Alabama Crimson Tide football team
The 2017 Alabama Crimson Tide football team represented the University of Alabama during the 2017-2018 college football season. It was Alabama's 123rd season of college football, its 84th as a member of the Southeastern Conference, and its 11th under head coach Nick Saban.
The Tide entered the campaign as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press poll. The team's strength, as usual, was associated with its defense, led by interior linebackers Da'Ron Payne and Da'Shawn Hand, and assisted by strong safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The offense was expected to center around versatile and composed second-year starter Jalen Hurts at quarterback, working with juniors Calvin Ridley as top receiver and Bo Scarborough as top rusher.
Both the offense and defense showed signs of weakness over the course of an otherwise dominating season. Younger players often stepped in to jump-start ineffective offensive schemes or to fill in for an ever-growing list of injured linebackers on defense. Highly-touted true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa shined in limited action during the season. A 26-14 loss to Auburn in the 2017 Iron Bowl left the Tide out of the SEC championship game. Auburn's loss to Georgia and Wisconsin's loss to Ohio State in the Big 10 championship provided the opening for Alabama's invitation to the 4-team playoff. The Crimson Tide soundly defeated Clemson and then edged Georgia in overtime to claim a 17th national championship.
- September 2: Alabama defeated the 3rd ranked Florida State Seminoles 24−7 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
- September 9: Alabama beat the Fresno State Bulldogs 41−10 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- September 16: The Tide beat the Colorado State Rams 41–23 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- September 23: Alabama shut out the Vanderbilt Commodores 59–0 in Nashville, Tennessee.
- September 30: Alabama beat the Ole Miss Rebels 66–3 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- October 7: After a bye week, the Tide defeated the Texas A&M Aggies 27–19 in College Station, Texas.
- October 14: Alabama defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 41–9 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- October 21: Alabama beat the Tennessee Volunteers 45–7 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- November 4: After their second bye, the Tide beat the 19th ranked LSU Tigers 24–10 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- November 11: Alabama beat the 18th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs 31–24 in Starkville, Mississippi.
- November 18: The Crimson Tide shut out the Mercer Bears for Homecoming, 56–0, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- November 26: The 6th-ranked Auburn Tigers beat Alabama 26-14 in the 2017 Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
- January 1: Alabama defeated the top ranked Clemson Tigers 24–6 in the Sugar Bowl semifinal in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- January 8: Alabama edged out the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in overtime in the championship game in Atlanta, Georgia.
Head coach Nick Saban and associate head coach / running backs coach Burton Burns returned for their 11th season with the Crimson Tide, joined by strength & conditioning coach Scott Cochran in his 10th year. The rest of the staff were all in the first or second year of their respective roles. Jeremy Pruitt shared defensive coordinator responsibilities with Tosh Lupoi, and Mike Locksley did the same for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Joe Pannunzio served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. Derrick Ansley coached defensive backs while the offensive and defensive line were coached by Brent Key and Karl Dunbar, respectively.
- Offensive line: Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher, Bradley Bozeman, J. C. Hassenauer and Matt Womack
- Offensive backs: Jalen Hurts, Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough
- Receivers and tight ends: Calvin Ridley, Robert Foster, Henry Ruggs, Devonta Smith, Hale Hentges
- Defensive line: Raekwon Davis, Da'Ron Payne, Da'Shawn Hand
- Defensive backs: Terrell Lewis, Mack Wilson, Rashaan Evans, Christian Miller, Anthony Averett, Levi Wallace
- Safeties: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison
- Kickers: Andy Pappanastos, J. K. Scott
- Media Guide (current edition) at rolltide.com