CollegeFootball Playoff rankings are out and while the top three held firm, trends are developing which can indicate what might happen if number one Alabama falls in the SEC Championship Game. I believe the Selection Committee is telling us that a one-loss Alabama will not be selected for the Playoff. We will try to do a recap about CFP and also about NFL in next couple of articles.
What I’m about to say is based on a couple of things. First, Alabama would have to be Undefeated going into the SEC championship game against a one-loss Georgia team. Second, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan all win out. In this scenario, Clemson, Georgia and Michigan would all be conference champions with Notre Dame being undefeated.
With the emphasis on how highly ranked the committee has Notre Dame at No. 3 and Michigan at No. 4 this week, a loss by Alabama would drop the Tide behind Michigan as Georgia would catapult to either two or three, depending on how the Committee would ultimately rank an undefeated Notre Dame over one-loss conference champions from the SEC and Big Ten.
As we sit here today, Alabama can only strengthen its record going forward by defeating a one-loss Georgia team – not that it needs the help at the moment. Alabama is far and away the best team in the nation. Fans, handicappers and opposing coaches and players know it. But just how wide is that gap? The answer will probably be found in the lack of wins against playoff teams.
If the Tide lost to a one-loss Georgia team, the Tide’s best win of the season will be LSU if the Tigers win out. LSU is currently ranked 7th and will probably stay in the top 10. After that, the choices get slim. Alabama is about to hand Mississippi State its fourth loss.Auburn still has Georgia and Alabama to play and will probably end the season with five losses. For this scenario to work, Georgia still needs to be a one-loss SEC champ so a win against a five-loss Auburn helps Alabama none.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame would have the best win of the playoff teams with a victory overMichigan. Michigan would have the best loss of the one-loss teams, a win over top 10 Ohio State and a conference championship. College Football Playoff Committee Chair Rob Mullens said Michigan had the “best defense in the country” and said so without blinking an eye.
That means the Committee thinks the Wolverines are better defensively than both Alabama and Clemson. Mullens also pointed out the impressive wins in back-to-back weeks for Michigan and an improving Shea Patterson for the Michigan offense.
Given all of that information, a one-loss, non-conference champion Alabama would need Michigan to lose its conference championship game in order for Alabama to get into the Playoff with a loss. At that point, I don’t see a Pac-12 champion in Washington State or a Big 12 champion Oklahoma or West Virginia jumping a one-loss.
All of this is hearsay at this point.Alabama looks almost invincible and has a clear path to the Playoff. But this is exactly why the Playoff Committee releases weekly rankings. The strategy of figuring out who gets in/who’s left out is a weekly discussion. For them,win and you’re in. If the Tide losses, things become very interesting.