Alabama Football: Slap in the face by CFB Selection Committee

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Alabama football slipped to its lowest position ever in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide trailed four SEC teams, including Auburn.

What a depressing 72 hours it has been for Alabama football. From every corner of the college football world has come a deluge, devaluing the Alabama Crimson Tide. Some high-profile, sports pundits even focused on claims Nick Saban can no longer cut it as a championship coach.

Much of the anti-Bama coverage is driven by opportunity-seeking. There is a big national audience who have long salivated at any hint of the demise of Alabama football and Nick Saban. Sound bites and tweets are fertile pathways for dime-a-dozen ideas. So be it.

For those not interested in slogging through a swamp of sensationalized opinion, old-school thinking works. Let’s consider some facts.

Alabama football had a weak schedule, leaving it vulnerable to criticism. Not all of the schedule weakness was the fault of the Crimson Tide. Duke was a late replacement team when another school wanted out of its opening game commitment to play the Tide. At the time, Duke QB, Daniel Jones was not expected to choose NFL early-entry. When he did, the Duke offense was greatly diminished.

Nick Saban and the Tide cannot be faulted for regular foes, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee being either very bad or mediocre teams. Don’t even start about a FCS game against Western Carolina, Florida played two FCS teams and no one talks about it.

Should Alabama football have played a tougher schedule? Yes, but finding teams to fill out a schedule is harder than most realize. And don’t forget, Nick Saban is the most frequent and most consistent proponent of a nine-game SEC schedule and Power Five teams only playing Power Five teams.

A listing of all the Crimson Tide injuries to starters and key players would be long and almost pointless. Tell me, what team in college football could lose its best offensive and best defensive players and still be in contention for a playoff spot going into its 12th game? Yes, injuries are part of the game, but no playoff contender lost the equivalent of Tua Tagovailoa and Dylan Moses. And that is not including the three other defensive starters and field-goal kicker who did not play against Auburn.

Consider these other details. Alabama football lost to the No. 2 and No. 11 teams by a total of eight points. Georgia lost to a 4-8 team and if the Bulldogs lose to LSU Saturday, they will likely be ranked above the Tide in the final CFB Selection Committee rankings. One reason why is the Bulldogs beat No. 9 Florida.

Allow me to transition to opinion. Alabama football, even without Tua and Dylan Moses, would beat a good, but far from great, Florida team. If Alabama football and Auburn played four more times this season, the Tua-less Tide would win all four. With a fully healthy Tua, Gary Danielson said the Crimson Tide would not only have beaten Auburn but LSU as well. His summation was simple and powerful.

"There’s no college team that can slow them down with Tua on his game."

The reality is two losses, under whatever circumstances, is all that matters. I have no doubt the Selection Committee acted and always acts in good faith. Even so, it was a slap to the face to rank the Crimson Tide No. 12 and Auburn, No. 11. As I said earlier, so be it.

Next. Should there be coaching changes?. dark

Whatever bowl the Tide plays in does not much matter. Nor does how many Tide players protect their Draft status by sitting out. All that matters now is preparing for September 2020.