Alabama football has stiff competition in the SEC
Four weeks of the college football season are in the books, and we have some clarity concerning the top teams in the country. Alabama football and Georgia are the top title contenders, and teams like Clemson and Wisconsin look like pretenders. Undefeated teams like Oklahoma and Notre Dame control their own destiny, but they have yet to look like true College Football Playoff contenders.
The ACC has been a dumpster fire, and the Pac-12 is already down to one team. Meanwhile, the SEC remains the most dominant conference in the country.
This should not be a surprise at this point, but the level of dominance is still staggering. All in all, Alabama is one of eight teams in the SEC that still controls their own destiny for the College Football Playoff.
How do we determine which teams are in control of their own destiny? With the CFP’s criteria, this can be challenging. However, we simplified it with two criteria. If a team in the SEC has one or fewer losses and would make it to the SEC Championship if they won out, they control their own destiny. That means they can theoretically be a one-loss SEC champion at worst, which should be more than enough to make to the College Football Playoff.
Three of these eight teams are in the SEC East. In theory, both Georgia and Kentucky control their own destiny because they are undefeated. While Kentucky is not yet ranked, that would likely change if they were to win out. It is unlikely, but that doesn’t change the fact that they control how their season goes.
Florida can also be a one-loss SEC East champion if they win out. If they were then able to beat the SEC West champion, they would certainly be in the CFP.
Alabama football, Arkansas and Ole Miss obviously control their own destiny as they are the only SEC West teams still undefeated. While Auburn has struggled, they can say the same with no SEC losses yet. The same goes to LSU, while they are not expected to make it through their SEC slate unscathed.
Interestingly, Texas A&M is not one of the eight. They could still make the College Football Playoff, but they would need Arkansas to lose two SEC games in the regular season.
In all likelihood, the regular season will end with two or three SEC teams with a shot to make it to the CFP. Alabama football and Georgia are at the top of the world, and other teams are biting at their heels. Still, there is no doubt that the SEC is the deepest conference by a wide margin.