Alabama comes in at #24. Here's what they have to say:
Final 2005 rank: 8
Outlook: With departure of Brodie Croyle, transition to new QB probably will be made easier by return of standout RB Kenneth Darby running behind C Antoine Caldwell. Status of WR Tyrone Prothro (broken leg) will be key. Defense lost several top performers but T Jeremy Clark among returnees.
It's a little frustrating to be ranked so low when you finished in the Top 10 the previous season, but it is understandable given the loss of Croyle and seven defensive starters. The offense struggled greatly with a veteran QB though, so who knows what it'll be like with a sophomore with little experience. I don't expect to see Prothro on the field this year, so DJ Hall and Keith Brown will have to step it up. For what it's worth, Penn State fell equally far from their '05 finish.
As far as our 2006 schedule goes, we face four ranked teams:
You can see the rest of the USA Today Top 25 here (HT: Swamp Ball)