Alabama Football: On polls, Playoff implications and Crimson Tide

After its close win over LSU, Alabama Football gained some ground in its College Football Playoff chances. The Alabama Crimson Tide remained at No. 3 in the AP Poll, but it gained ground on No. 2 Cincinnati. The gap in points between the two in the rankings had been 42 points. It shrank to four points in the latest poll.

Why did the Crimson Tide move so much closer to the Bearcats? As poorly as the Tide offense often played against LSU, the win counted much more than Cincinnati’s win over Tulsa. For one thing, Tulsa came within inches of beating Cincinnati – twice. Now 3-6, Tulsa is ranked by Jeff Sagarin at No. 99; now five-loss, LSU is ranked at No. 26.

For those uninterested in a computer ranking comparison, there are many other fans who want an expanded Playoff field to be chosen by computer algorithms. Those wanting a 12-team Playoff, with five Power Five champions and seven of the top, computer ranked teams, have a short memory of the BCS. The main complaint against the BCS formula was its use of computer rankings. Jeff Sagarin’s computer model was used by the BCS. Currently, Sagarin has Georgia No. 1, Alabama Football No. 2. and Cincinnati No. 10.

The Alabama Crimson Tide moved up in the Coaches Poll one spot and replaced Cincinnati at No. 2. The Tide has a 53 point lead over the Bearcats in the coaches’ rankings.

There are now only four undefeated FBS teams. At No. 19 (in the coaches’ poll), UTSA is not a factor in Playoff consideration. Along with Georgia and Cincinnati, the other undefeated team is Oklahoma.

Where will Alabama Football land in second CFP rankings?

The Selection Committee is not concerned with poll results. While many fans may disagree, the idea of a weekly deep dive into the teams is only possible by a select group of human voters. Media selections and coaches’ choices don’t have an opportunity to match the committee’s time-intensive effort.

Predicting what the committee will do each week will often be flawed. Other than Georgia at No.1, and Cincinnati providing another example of weak performance against a sub-par team, the committee has many tough choices to make.

The best poll news for Alabama Football is Texas A&M at No. 11 and Ole Miss at No. 12 in both polls. Auburn dropped to No. 16 in the AP and No. 20 in the Coaches Poll. Arkansas came in at No. 27 in the AP Poll and No. 26 in the Coaches Poll.

Looking at tea leaves, fans can use the ESPN Playoff Predictor. Below are the top 10 teams in the ESPN calculation and how their chances for making the final four changed after college football’s week 10.

  • Georgia – up to 96% from 93%
  • Alabama Crimson Tide – up to 71% from 68%
  • Oklahoma – down to 59% from 62%
  • Ohio State – up to 58% from 53%
  • Cincinnati – down to 50% from 57%
  • Michigan – up to 25% from 20%
  • Notre Dame – up to 20% from 17%
  • Oklahoma State – up to 14% from 3%
  • Oregon remained at 3%
  • Michigan State – down to 2% from 16%

Foremost on the minds of many Alabama fans is does an 11-2 Crimson Tide have a chance to make the final four. A wild guess is, from almost no chance last week, a new prediction is, possibly but highly unlikely.