Alabama Football: Analysis of CFP contenders and pretenders

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(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

822. . (5-1). . Tigers . . team

Their opening loss to Wyoming has to be the biggest head-scratcher of 2019. Since that game, they have looked every bit the part of a contender in the SEC East. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves though. They have looked good, but who have they played? Other than the 34-14 win over South Carolina their best win is maybe West Virginia. After Vanderbilt this week they have a trap game @Kentucky before heading to Athens to play Georgia. Throw in a game against Florida and the potential for losses starts adding up.

Pretender – 9-3

819. . (5-1). . Fighting Irish . . team

It is the same story different season for Notre Dame. They are 5-1, but what is their best win? 3-points over USC? 15-points over Virginia? They looked good against Georgia, but now we know Georgia is not elite. Their schedule is just a breeze in the back half. After travelling to Michigan, their remaining games are; vs. Va. Tech, @Duke, vs. Navy, vs. BC, and @Stanford. People want to talk about Alabama’s scheduling? I now look at Notre Dame the same way I look at all of the Group of 5 teams. If they make the playoff a Power 5 team will have a legitimate gripe about being left out, just like last season.

Pretender – 10-2

812. . (6-0). . Buckeyes . . team

Ohio State is legit. They have been the most impressive team to me in 2019. In Bama Hammer’s weekly Playoff rankings I voted Ohio State #1 each week. Justin Fields is legit. It looks like Kirby Smart had the opportunity to make a Jalen or Tua type decision at Georgia in regards to Fields and Fromm, and with all due respect to Jake Fromm, he may have made the wrong one. Ohio State’s showdown with Wisconsin next weekend could contend with Bama v LSU for game of the year.

Contender – 12-0

815. . (6-0). . Sooners . . team

Don’t look now but Lincoln Riley may have a decent defense this year. They are giving up 21.6 points per game against FBS opponents and have been steadily improving over the season. Jalen Hurts is playing like a man on a mission and trails only Tua Tagovailoa in Total QBR. The first half of their schedule was tougher than the back half figures to be. They can’t overlook Kansas State or Oklahoma State, but barring a big upset, they will be back in the Playoff in 2019.

Contender – 12-0

. (5-1). . Ducks . . team. 820

Some Alabama football fans have not forgiven the Ducks for losing to Auburn early in the season. Oregon controls their own destiny at 5-1. If they win out they are nearly guaranteed a Playoff spot. There are still some question marks for Oregon though. The loss to Auburn is big and the second-half of their season is filled with trap games starting with @Washington this weekend. I don’t see them getting through the rest of the season without another loss and even if they make the Playoff I can’t see them competing with the elite teams.

Pretender – 10-2