On CFP rankings and how Alabama Football should be considered

Much of the college football world is giddy that Alabama Football may miss out on this season’s Playoffs. The anti-Bama fervor is so strong it seems some fans hate the Crimson Tide more than they love their own teams.

Alabama Football did not slip out of the CFB Playoff picture Tuesday night. The Crimson Tide held on to the No. 3 ranking. The Michigan Wolverines supplanted Ohio State at No. 2. Cincinnati was No. 4, followed by Oklahoma State and Notre Dame.

Fans of a couple of programs outside the top six cling to the hope of making the final four. Maybe Baylor has a chance if it beats Oklahoma State, but it will need at least two other favorites to fall on Saturday.

With no conference championship game – and now no head coach – Notre Dame is almost assured to be outside looking in on Selection Day.

CFP Selection Committee Chair, Gary Barta said, in the final rankings, the committee can consider,

a player or a coach not being available

Brian Kelly’s quick exit from South Bend appears to have shut down any Playoff chances for the Fighting Irish.

With the Georgia Bulldogs being a lock whatever happens Saturday in Atlanta, the remaining three slots are almost certainly going to three of Alabama Football, Michigan, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State.

Can the Alabama Crimson Tide lose to Georgia and still make the final four? The answer should be yes if the Tide loses by a small margin. And it should be yes if Michigan, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State win on Saturday. In that scenario the final four should be: 1) Georgia; 2) Michigan; 3) Oklahoma State; 4) Alabama.

What matters most of all, has always been the most important Playoff selection criterion – who are the four best teams. No valid data points, no algorithm, and no objective eye test can conclude even an undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats team is one of this season’s four best teams.

If the committee were to select the four best as listed above, it would logically slide the Crimson Tide to No. 3 to avoid a semi-final rematch between the Tide and the Bulldogs.

What will happen to Alabama Football?

A win over Georgia would send shock waves across college football. Two SEC teams in a final four again will be more than many fans can accept. If the Tide loses to Georgia, it is unlikely to make the final four. Even a Crimson Tide, one-point loss, would probably not be enough to bolster the committee into doing what is right.

As Dawn of the Dawg stated Tuesday night, no one, other than Alabama football fans, wants the Tide to win Saturday. If it does (and it can), one result will be a fast track to an eight or 12-team Playoff format.

Some Crimson Tide fans are ready to accept a two-loss Tide as not deserving of a playoff spot. To come to that conclusion requires finding four better teams – and they don’t exist this season.