College football’s biggest juggernaut did not seize destiny like it has so many times before. Alabama will go into College Football Playoff selection day as a non-conference winner, likely with one victory over a Top 25 team (a seven-point squeaker against Mississippi State). For so many years there have been three certains: death, taxes, and Alabama.
This year is different. The Tide did not roll their way in. Instead the die must be rolled. It will take a little luck for Alabama to make the playoff. It may already be too late.
Let’s look at the situation. The winner of Auburn-Georgia is in. One-loss Clemson is in. Oklahoma is in. Alabama loses the measuring contest against all three and it’s not close. One-loss, conference champion Miami would be a tougher call but the Hurricanes would be adding a victory over Clemson to its ledger.
The Big Ten winner will either be undefeated Wisconsin or two-loss Ohio State. Gun to your head: would the committee really allow an undefeated conference champion (13-0 Badgers) to miss out on the playoff, even if the other team in question is Alabama? The Buckeyes would have wins over Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Again, not so sure Alabama is getting the nod there.
I would personally take either Big Ten champs and Miami over Alabama for the fourth spot.
In my opinion, the best thing that can happen on Saturday for Alabama is TCU to stun Oklahoma in a rematch. It’s almost a must at this point. If that doesn’t happen, hope may already be gone. Then again, this Alabama, the boldest-faced name. The committee could be swayed.
It’s the dawn of a new era in the College Football Playoff. And the dawn of uncertainty in Tuscaloosa.