Alabama Football: CFB Playoff Projected Contenders

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

After one more weekend of college football, the first true look at Alabama Football’s Playoff chances will be provided. The CFB Playoff Selection Committee will release its first ranking on Oct. 31.

There is no mystery about what the Alabama Crimson Tide must do to make the final four teams. The Tide must win five more games, including the SEC Championship game. This is not a Playoff season when the SEC will get two teams. A 12-1, non-SEC Champion Georgia team cannot rely on being a two-time defending National Champion to make the field.

More detail on why the Bulldogs will not three-peat is provided by David Ettinger, writing for Southbound and Down. Ettinger provides three reasons. Two are the Bulldogs have struggled against unranked teams and the injury to Brock Bowers. The third reason is Ettinger thinks the Bulldogs will lose to the Crimson Tide in Atlanta.

Even with the Tide’s path to the Playoff being clear, it is interesting to consider what teams other than Alabama are legit Playoff contenders. Undefeated Power Five conference champions will always have the inside track to a Playoff slot. More problematic is the possibility that up to seven one-loss teams could be in the mix.

A source for review is ESPN’s Playoff Predictor. Some of the results below provide a perspective not seen by just considering the major poll rankings. All teams are listed with one loss.

  • Ohio State (12-1) – Big Ten Champ (98%); (12-1) not B1G Champ (92%)
  • Michigan (12-1) – B1G Champ (96%); (12-1) not B1G Champ (81%)
  • Alabama (12-1) – SEC Champ (94%)
  • Georgia (12-1) – not SEC Champ (23%)
  • Washington (12-1) – Pac-12 Champ (59%); (12-1) not Pac-12 Champ (33%)
  • Oregon (12-1) – Pac-12 Champ (59%)
  • Texas (12-1) – Big 12 Champ (98%)
  • Oklahoma (12-1) – Big 12 Champ (80%); (12-1) not Big 12 Champ (46%)
  • Florida State (12-1) – ACC Champ (57%); (12-1) not ACC Champ (29%)

A fair question is why does the ESPN calculation punish Georgia more for not winning a conference championship? An answer may be that the Bulldogs’ Strength of Schedule (SOS) from games played, is No. 109. But according to the ESPN calculation, Michigan at an SOS of No. 110 retains a good chance to make the Playoff without a Big Ten championship. Both teams have strong finishing schedules. The answer must be the value the ESPN algorithm places on ‘Game Control’. In that calculation, Michigan is No. 1 and Georgia is No. 17.

Alabama Football Fans Enjoying a Ranking

Alabama football fans can feel good about the Tide’s Playoff chances based on the rankings from CFP Resume Rankings. As currently ranked Alabama is No. 3, below Ohio State and Florida State and above Oklahoma at No. 4. According to this source Texas is No. 5, Michigan is No. 6, LSU is No. 10, and Georgia is No. 17.

Next. Crimson Tide Bowl Game History. dark

It will be very interesting how far below the top four Alabama Football is in the first ranking that counts, on Oct. 31.