Alabama Football: Paths to the Playoff for Bama and top contenders

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier this week Bama Hammer offered Alabama football fans a summary of Playoff chances for potential 12-1 teams. Based on ESPN’s Playoff Predictor, a one-loss Crimson Tide as the SEC Champion would have a 94% chance to make the Playoff field.

As Big Ten Champion, both Ohio State and Michigan with one loss would have similar chances. The Buckeyes, at 12-1 are given a 98% chance and the Wolverines are projected at 96%.

The only other 12-1, Power Five champion with comparable odds is Texas at 98%.

As projected by ESPN’s algorithm, being a one-loss ACC or Pac-12 champion does not mean being a final four lock. In that scenario, the projected chances for Florida State, Washington and Oregon are all less than 60%.

It is possible that when the final Playoff field is selected, there will be no undefeated Playoff contenders. Air Force might still be undefeated at that point, but unless they are ranked inside the top 15 in the first CFB Playoff rankings, running the table will not be enough for the Falcons. At 7-0, Air Force is currently No. 19 in the AP Poll.

This week, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports projected a Selection Committee top 25, after week eight games. Palm had the Crimson Tide at No. 8. Let’s review the regular season finishing schedules for the seven teams above Alabama Football. Based on ESPN Analytics, the toughest games for each of the seven teams are highlighted.

  • No. 1 Michigan Wolverines – Open, Purdue, at Penn State (50.1%), at Maryland, Ohio State (53.4%)
  • No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes – at Wisconsin, at Rutgers, Michigan State, Minnesota, at Michigan (46.6%)
  • No. 3 Florida State Seminoles – at Wake Forest, at Pitt, Miami (80%), UNA (North Alabama), at Florida
  • No. 4 Wahington Huskies – at Stanford, at USC (49.8%), Utah, at Oregon State (55.3%), Washington State
  • No. 5 Oklahoma Soonersat Kansas (87.4%), at Oklahoma State, West Virginia, at BYU, TCU
  • No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs – Florida, Missouri, Ole Miss (68.6%), at Tennessee (64.2%), Georgia Tech
  • No. 7 Texas Longhorns – BYU, Kansas State (70.7%), at TCU, at Iowa State, Texas Tech

Alabama Football’s {ath to Atlanta

The ESPN algorithm gives Alabama Football a 61.8% chance to beat LSU. The next toughest game for the Crimson Tide is at Auburn with an 85% chance of an Alabama victory.

Oklahoma and Florida State clearly have the least demanding regular season finishes. The toughest finishing schedules belong to Washington and Michigan.

Next. Crimson Tide Defensive Standouts. dark

Jerry Palm is not the only expert to have not followed the traditional polls when ranking the Georgia Bulldogs. The ease of the Georgia schedule through week nine cannot be ignored.