Alabama Football: Forget the probable, Crimson Tide has a Playoff shot

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

On Saturday morning, Dec. 3, Alabama Football still has a chance to make the Playoffs.

Before the what happened and the what ifs, a disclaimer is required. Since the CFB Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday night, I have been writing the Crimson Tide has no chance to jump from No. 6 in the rankings to a spot in the final four.

Friday night, I abruptly pumped the brakes on that thinking. An implosion in Las Vegas not only knocked USC out of the Playoffs, it also made laughable the college football conversations claiming the Trojans to be a championship contender.

Though not a new NCAA record, the Trojans may have unofficially set a record for missed tackles by a favorite in a key game. The Southern Cal defense lived up to ‘what’s his name’s’ history – that coach called by a President’s name – as one of college football’s worst head coaches when defense matters.

The Alabama football defense of 2022 has been alarmingly porous at times. But compared to the USC defense, the Tide’s defense could have played with just two linebackers and eight defensive backs against Utah (yes, 10 men) and missed fewer tackles than did USC.

Another collapse, bearing any resemblance to USC’s, is not likely on Saturday. But it is not impossible that on Sunday the CFB Playoff final four will be Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Alabama.

The Crimson Tide needs TCU to lose in the early game on Saturday. Kansas State cannot just squeak by the Horned Frogs. The Wildcats must win decisively. A close loss by TCU is expected to be enough for them to make the Playoff field.

In that scenario, Ohio State would be the favorite to fill the vacancy made by the USC loss. Unless the CFB Playoff Selection Committee rethinks Tuesday’s decision of ranking the Buckeyes over the Crimson Tide.

Based on comments made by Boo Corrigan on Tuesday night, it seems the committee will not be inclined to bump the Tide up on Sunday.

But perhaps the probable outcome may not happen. Based on other words from Corrigan, the committee did not conclude much separation existed between the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide. Two close, road losses by the Tide seemed to be equalized by one very bad home loss by the Buckeyes. The Ohio State edge came from wins over Penn State and Notre Dame. USC’s bad loss to Utah should dent Notre Dame’s resume, with a negative effect on Ohio State’s resume.

Alabama Football could use one more boost

Ohio State’s resume could be further tarnished Saturday night if 4-loss Purdue can upset Michigan. The Wolverines would still make the Playoff field, but such an outcome could allow the Crimson Tide to sneak by the Buckeyes.

Next. Alabama fans and Bill O'Brien agree. dark

There are a few Alabama football fans who have expressed trepidation over the Tide’s ability to be competitive in this season’s Playoffs. To those fears, I counter that a finally healthy Bryce Young makes a big difference.