College Football’s Final Four
Clemson and the Alabama Crimson Tide will hold the top two seeds. Predicting the third and fourth slots would only be a wild guess at this point. Ohio State is a contender. The fourth spot could go to a second SEC team but not a two-loss SEC team. If the Bulldogs upset the Tide for the SEC Championship, the SEC would have a good chance at two teams again.
Oklahoma State is the favorite in the Big 12, with Kansas State likely fading. An undefeated Big 12 Champion gets in the field over a second SEC team. A still-Champion, but one-loss Big 12 team probably does not. As we recently argued, the CFB Playoff Selection Committee should not ignore potential disparities in the number of games played. So far, seven is the unstated minimum based on Pac 12 schedule plans. Playing just six games and going undefeated with a Power Five Championship, should not knock out a one-loss Power Five Champion, with a 9-11 game season.
Teams with the best chance in the Pac 12 are probably Oregon and Southern Cal.
Alabama Crimson Tide Playoff Chances
Whatever choice the Selection Committee ultimately makes, an Alabama football win in a National Semi-Final is expected. Can the Crimson Tide win No. 18 in its 13th game? Of course, it can if Jaylen Waddle is the only key player lost to injury. Defense does not win championships any longer, but the Crimson Tide defense must improve. The secondary should be much better by the Playoffs. If the pass rush improves as well, the Crimson Tide offense will have some margin for error.
My prediction is the Crimson Tide outscores Clemson or Ohio State for the title.