Alabama Football: Any college football fan with an open mind should see the Crimson Tide is the nation’s best.
Nick Saban’s Alabama football team is 7-0 heading into Iron Bowl week. Beating the rival Auburn Tigers does and will always matter but later, post-season games mean much more. In terms of the chase for a National Championship, Auburn is just another regular-season game.
Later today Bama Hammer will publish our first CFB Playoff Ranking. The Selection Committee’s first ranking will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
There is zero chance the Alabama Crimson Tide is not No. 1 in Tuesday night’s first Selection Committee ranking. How good is the Crimson Tide? Arguably the Tide offense is its best ever. As an example, Northwestern has a good defense. The Steve Sarkisian, Alabama football offense would overwhelm the Wildcats.
The other Playoff positions are subject to some debate, but at this point in the regular season, there is a gap between the Crimson Tide and the teams below. This is not to say the Tide is a Playoff lock. There are too many games left for any team to be a lock.
What is obvious at this point of the season is an expanded Playoff would be senseless. Those suggesting the Playoff field should be expanded to eight teams this season; should be challenged to explain what eight teams they would choose. Any ‘best teams’ ranking beyond six teams seems like a ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ scenario for a Group of Five team, or a BYU to make the field. Surely no one actually believes an undefeated Coastal Carolina, Marshall or Nevada would deserve being in a Playoff field.
In an eight-team field, the favorites would be unfairly required to risk injuries beating lesser teams. The No. 1 and No. 2 teams would likely have win probabilities near 90 percent. But injury loss of a Mac Jones or a Justin Fields or another top player in a quarter-final would be cruelly bad luck. Championship-destroying bad luck, in a game totally unnecessary to determine college football’s best team. Going to a Playoff field of six would be less bad, allowing the top two seeds a bye. It would be less bad, but again unnecessary.
Alabama football does not have to worry about making the Playoff field if it wins out. That could mean four more wins or just three, without a rescheduled LSU game. However, a loss in the SEC Championship game could block the Tide’s path to a semi-final.
In that situation, it is the opinion of Alabama football fans, the Crimson Tide would be the best one-loss team. There is no guarantee the Selection Committee would agree. Assuming the Big Ten, ACC and SEC Champions make the four-team field, a fourth team might come from the Pac 12 or second teams from the Big Ten or ACC.
In the situation described in the preceding paragraph, many Alabama football fans would be glad for an expansion of the Playoff field. Hypocritically, so would I.