Heading into next season, Alabama will likely sit atop the polls and power rankings. The Tide have made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, and they will be among the most talented teams in the country again in 2017.

Related: Despite title loss, Alabama may still have gotten one of their biggest wins in history in 2016 

However, ESPN college football analyst Cole Cubelic said during a Twitter Q&A he thinks Alabama will be 9-2 entering the 2017 Iron Bowl.

When asked which two teams will beat Alabama, Cubelic said Florida State and one surprising team.

Mississippi State hasn’t defeated Alabama under Dan Mullen, but Cubelic thinks the combination of scheduling and QB Nick Fitzgerald will give the Bulldogs an opportunity for an upset over Alabama.

Alabama hasn’t lost more than one game in the regular season since 2010, when Saban went 9-3 with arguably his most talented roster. Saban is also undefeated in season openers at Alabama, and the Tide face Florida State in the season opener in Atlanta on Sept. 2.

Alabama is only returning 11 starters next season after losing most of its defense to the NFL, so the possibility of them losing more than once next season isn’t out of the question. And if the Alabama and Auburn are 9-2 entering the Iron Bowl, there’s a good chance that game will decide the SEC West.

(h/t Saturday Down South)

Early ESPN analyst predictions have Alabama heading into Iron Bowl with two losses Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Cole Frederick About the author:
Cole Frederick is from a small town in Alabama, and he graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism. He loves all sports - especially football and basketball - and quotes The Office frequently.
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