Alabama Football: Clarity for CFBP selections during a crazy season

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: Despite a uniquely unpredictable season, there is clarity for the CFBP Selection Committee.

Though less so for Alabama football, 2020 has been a crazy season for many college football teams. The Alabama Crimson Tide had to battle in a game without Head Coach, Nick Saban, Unavailable for the LSU game were four assistant coaches and two analysts. The Crimson Tide does not have an inexorable path to the CFB Playoff, but the path appears inevitable. Beat Arkansas on Saturday and an Alabama football loss to Florida should not knock the Tide out of the final four.

For different and varied reasons, three other teams are poised for the other three, final four slots. The ACC has greased the wheels for two of its teams to make the Playoff field, by giving Clemson and Notre Dame open dates before the ACC Championship game.

Ohio State has a slightly tenuous position. The Buckeyes are 5-0 and need Michigan or another B1G team on Dec. 12 to match the league’s game requirement for its Championship game. That sentence can be modified from ‘need’ to ‘needed’ as it becomes clear the Big Ten will adjust the rules, if need be, for a 5-0 Ohio State team.

Such accommodation will rankle some contenders but if the Buckeyes get to 6-0, following a Big Ten Championship win, it would be unfair to exclude them. There will be ‘data points’ debate over how many games should be the minimum, but the Selection Committee has not set such a standard.

Anticipating future controversy, Executive Director, Bill Hancock addressed the issue weeks ago,

"There is no minimum game requirement to be eligible for the College Football Playoff. The selection committee`s job is to select the top four teams beginning November 24 and continuing through the final rankings December 20. The number of games and wins by each team is certainly important in weighing its ranking, but it is not the only factor."

Hancock also said,

"The selection committee will continue to use factors such as wins against top 25 teams, wins against teams with winning records, and their expertise to come together and select the best four teams week by week."

The Committee’s process does not lead to clarity. It has built-in discretion, some might call, wiggle room to select the four best teams. No team in close contention, when left out, will ever be satisfied. This season, there might be fewer valid complaints. The top four teams in the first two rankings provide little debate. The same could be true for the next two ranking updates and the final one on Dec. 20.

Next. Five takeaways from Tide - LSU. dark

The top four teams now will probably be the top four teams at the end. That is remarkable for such an unpredictable season.