Can Alabama Make the College Football Playoff? What a Win Against Georgia Means For Their Playoff Chances

    Could the College Football Playoffs witness Alabama get left out for a second straight year? A dive into what the Crimson Tide is facing in the SEC title game.

    Could the College Football Playoffs be without Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide for a second straight season? Since the inception of the postseason format, Alabama has never missed the playoffs in consecutive years.

    But the Crimson Tide were facing elimination from playoff contention — regardless of win or loss in the Southeastern Conference title game versus No. 1 Georgia on Saturday. However, their 27-24 win can elevate the Tide’s chances of crashing back into the four-team scenario.

    How Alabama can Make the College Football Playoffs

    With now two unbeaten teams at play for a spot in Michigan and Florida State, Alabama is now collecting its breaths and wondering who between Iowa and Louisville can help get them into the football version of the final four.

    Before the win, the Tide already has one ardent backer in SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, who dropped a Sesame Street reference to explain that Alabama isn’t in a hard scenario.

    “That’s not the real world of college football,” Sankey said to ESPN College Game Day. “Let’s go back to ‘Sesame Street.’ So we’re really basic: One of these things is not like the other. And that’s the Southeastern Conference. We have five of the top 15 (teams).”

    Sankey concluded with: “When you put us up actually against the teams, and not just the committee room, we stand alone.”

    Alabama already received one assist out of Las Vegas on Friday. With Washington’s thrilling 34-31 victory over Oregon, the Ducks got eliminated from the CFB playoff race.

    Now, Alabama is in a position to strike and get back into the CFB postseason. But here are the scenarios at stake for the Tide now that they rolled past the Bulldogs.

    Atlantic Coast Conference Championship: Louisville will have to shock 12-0 Florida State to increase Alabama’s hopes. In reality, all of the teams on the outside looking in — including ‘Bama — are secretly pulling for the Cardinals. A Seminoles loss frees up one of the top four playoff spots as FSU sits at No. 4.

    Big Ten Championship: If not Louisville, Alabama will need Iowa to stun the undefeated Michigan Wolverines. An Iowa win leapfrogs Alabama past Ohio State and can hop over Michigan as well, as a loss to a two-loss Hawkeyes team would become damaging for the Wolverines and give the CFB playoff committee leverage to get two SEC teams in.

    Big 12 Championship: Ideally, the early championship contest had an immense say on Alabama’s future. Texas winning 49-21 over Oklahoma State, unfortunately, somewhat lessens Alabama’s hopes due to the Longhorns beating the Crimson Tide earlier this season. Texas holds the tiebreaker over Alabama by virtue of that win.

    Could Nick Saban Turn to Sales Pitch?

    The nation has seen Saban resort to this before as a way to push Alabama into the title fold.

    If he does trek toward this route, in all likelihood, he and Alabama will bring up the strength of schedule argument.

    Per ESPN’s College Football Power Index, Alabama had the sixth-toughest regular season schedule of the 2023 season. Despite Texas beating Alabama, the Longhorns wound up with the nation’s seventh toughest schedule.

    But, this argument is more valid than ever now that Alabama defeated the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs in Atlanta.

    Alabama is likely bound for a New Year’s Six bowl contest anyway. But by beating Georgia, the Tide have been repositioned for a possible spot in the College Football Playoffs.

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