Alabama Football: Analysis of CFP contenders and pretenders

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Alabama football
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. Crimson Tide . . team. 829. . (6-0)

Not much needs to be said here. Alabama football has an elite offense and a defense that is improving week after week. The back half of the schedule is much tougher than the first half with LSU and Auburn waiting in November, but Alabama football should coast to 8-0 before the showdown with the Bengal Tigers November 9.

Contender – 12-0

. team. 854. . (5-1). . Sun Devils

If Arizona State wins out they will have wins against Utah, Oregon, and the PAC-12 North champion, probably Oregon again or Washington. Win out and they are in. Realistically though, what are the chances that not only they beat Utah Saturday, but they beat an improved UCLA, Oregon, a sneaky good USC, and Arizona? They have been good, but this team feels like a second-half bust.

Pretender – 8-4

Tigers . . team. 842. . (5-1).

I can’t quite put my finger on Auburn this year. I think when they are playing their best football they could hang with anybody in the country, especially on defense. However, Bo Nix has shown he is going to have some growing pains. Auburn is going to lose at least 1-2 more games and could realistically lose all three of their remaining big games to Alabama, LSU, and Georgia. That said, I thought the same thing in 2017 and they ended up in the SEC championship with a shot at a Playoff berth. As of today I’m calling them a pretender.

Pretender – 9-3

team. 860. . (6-0). . Bears .

Don’t look now but Baylor is back to being relevant in the BIG-12. After a few of seasons of being a doormat due to the fallout of the Art Briles era, they are sitting pretty at 6-0. However, in the famous words from the Paul Finebaum Show, “they ain’t played nobody Pawl!” The back half is brutal for Baylor and they are in a similar position as Arizona State.

Pretender – 8-4

. team. 879. . (6-0). . Tigers

I just have not seen Clemson playing the way a defending national champion with a returning elite QB should be playing. Needing a failed 2-point conversion to escape with a victory against UNC is just not what you would expect the nation’s other elite teams to do. They are most likely going to win out because of a weak schedule and if they do they will make the Playoff, but I’m not convinced they are legit this year. I’m probably going to get some backlash for this one, but…

Pretender – 12-0