Alabama football reached an undefeated regular season in the Iron Bowl. Review what is being said nationally about the Crimson Tide and the CFB Playoff.
As Alabama football fans came to realize last season, winning the Iron Bowl is added value. Championships are the measurement of a successful Alabama football season. Winning the SEC Championship still matters. What matters far more is the CFB Playoff and national championships. Winning the Iron Bowl, while still important because of the in-state rivalry, is more like cake icing.
After the LSU and Mississippi State shutouts, there was a broad perspective Alabama football was a virtual CFB Playoff lock. Then, the Crimson Tide wallowed around Bryant-Denny for a half against FCS opponent, The Citadel. The national perspective about the Tide’s Playoff future became fragmented. A few credible college football experts stated the Crimson Tide could not survive a loss to Georgia, not even a small loss.
The Tide’s domination of Auburn and the marvelous performance of Heisman front-runner, Tua Tagovailoa changed the conversation again. The Tide’s big win, combined with losses by Michigan and Washington State, changed the dialog. The latest expert spin is both Alabama and Georgia (if it beats the Tide) will make the Playoff final four.
What the national media is saying about the Tide and the Playoff
Patrick Stevens of Washington Post is an excellent source – he says,
Alabama will probably beat Georgia in next week’s SEC title game. But suppose it doesn’t…
The SEC title game winner is headed to the playoff. And if Georgia happens to be that team, the runner-up is going to have its name called as a semifinalist as well.
Going beyond the Playoff consideration, Barrett Sallee, writing for cbspsorts.com, said,
Alabama is inching closer toward being known as the best team of all time. It’s not hyperbole at this point to say that this is the best team of all time. Yes, even better than 2001 Miami and some of the Nebraska teams of old.
(commenting on the Tide’s season-to-date) These aren’t games anymore. They’re victory laps. They’re showcases. They’re movies that you watch knowing how they’re going to end
Those two guys are not Crimson Tide homers. Their opinions are honest and direct. There is also the additional argument over the Playoff-worthiness of Oklahoma and Ohio State.
The Buckeyes beat a hugely over-hyped Michigan team. All season long the Wolverines defense was extolled as maybe the best in CFB. Great defenses do not surrender 62 points. Ohio State worthy of a Playoff spot? The Buckeyes lost to a barely, bowl eligible Purdue team (6-6) by 29 points.
Then there is Oklahoma, playing in a league that does not have one legitimate defense. The Sooners beat West Virginia while allowing 56 points and 704 yards. The Selection Committee is already stuck with a team having no chance to win a semi-final game, Notre Dame. Does it want another one by putting Oklahoma in the field? The only worse decision would be putting UCF in the final four.
Nick Saban will never acquiesce to leaving anything to chance. Beating UGA is important on many levels; recruiting; the SEC Championship and a guaranteed Playoff slot. Don’t suggest to Nick the Alabama Crimson Tide is in no matter what happens in Atlanta. But the Tide is in a very strong position.
Another interesting stat was uncovered by Barrett Sallee. The Alabama Crimson Tide is only the second CFB team ever, to outscore all 12 of its opponents by 20+ points. The other one was Yale in 1888.