College Football Playoff ranking brings Alabama’s path into focus


The math is simple for the outdoor shot Alabama had for the College Football Playoff.

There was chaos at the top last weekend, but enough to bring the Crimson Tide back into contention? The penultimate CFP ranking announced Tuesday night set the course.

And there really isn’t — not without more madness at the top.

With Ohio State ranked No. 5, the Crimson Tide sixth, and neither playing this weekend, it’s hard to imagine those two swapping places in the final playoff rankings released on Sunday.

Alabama (10-2) moved up one spot after the 49-27 win over Auburn to finish the regular season. A week ago it was No. 7 for that time-No. 5 LSU lost its third game of the season in a shocker at Texas A&M, dropping all the way to No. 14.

Starting Saturday: Alabama OL ‘optimistic’ about CFP rankings as Tide ‘peaks at the right time’

The final CFP rankings will be released Sunday at 11 a.m. CT after the conference championships are played. No two-loss team has ever made it to the four-team field in its first eight years of existence.

So, to put it simply, Georgia and Michigan are almost locked in the field at No. 1 and No. 2 in the rankings. TCU is the No. 3 going into Saturday’s Big 12 title game with Kansas State.

For Alabama to stand a chance, Utah must defeat No. 4 USC in Friday’s Pac-12 title game to give the Trojans a second loss. A blowout of a TCU loss in the Big 12 game should also be significant enough to drop the third-ranked Horned Frogs behind Alabama.

The problem for the Tide is the lack of a real quality win. As it stands, No. 20 Texas (8-4) is holding that banner after Ole Miss fell from No. 11 the week it lost to Alabama, all the way out of the top 25. Lane Kiffin’s team lost four of the last five games to finish 8-4 after a 24-22 Egg Bowl loss to Mississippi State on Thanksgiving.

That Mississippi State team is Alabama’s only other ranked win as the Bulldogs moved back into the CFP’s 25 ranked No. 24.

The Tide’s two last-second losses came for teams whose stocks fell in recent weeks, with Tennessee moving from No. 1 in the CFP to No. 7 this week. LSU ranks 14th after losing in College Station.

Should Alabama miss the playoff for only the second time since 2014, the December 31 Sugar Bowl seems like the best bet for a bowl game. The Sugar Bowl takes the top ranked non-playoff teams from the SEC and Big 12 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

College Football Playoff Ranking

  1. Georgia 12-0
  2. Michigan 12-0
  3. TCU 12-0
  4. USC 11-1
  5. State of Ohio 11-1
  6. Alabama 10-2
  7. Tennessee 10-2
  8. Penn state 10-2
  9. Klemson 10-2
  10. Kansas is 9-3
  11. Utah 9-3
  12. Washington 10-2
  13. State of Florida 9-3
  14. LSU 9-3
  15. State of Oregon 9-3
  16. Oregon 9-3
  17. UCLA 9-3
  18. Tulane 10-2
  19. South Carolina 8-4
  20. Texas 8-4
  21. Notre Dame 8-4
  22. UCF 9-3
  23. North Carolina 9-3
  24. State of Mississippi 8-4
  25. NC state 8-4

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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