Riding a seven-game winning streak, Alabama Football has gained traction as one of the top CFB Playoff contenders. According to ESPN Analytics, the Crimson Tide has the fourth-highest percentage of probability of making the Playoff field at 41.4%.
Five more teams are given a 21.3% chance (Penn State) to a 39.4% chance (Texas). The others are Georgia at 39%, Oregon at 37.6% and Washington at 30.6%.
While Bama and Georgia’s Playoff chances are almost equal, ESPN projects the Crimson Tide to have a 54.3% chance to win the SEC Championship game, compared to 42.9% for Georgia. That is not a direct head-to-head calculation and Georgia having a tougher regular season closing schedule than the Tide makes a difference.
The top three CFB Playoff contenders according to ESPN are Ohio State at 76.8%, Florida State at 61.9% and Michigan at 43%.
ESPN’s algorithm calculates that if the Crimson Tide beats Kentucky, Chattanooga, Auburn and wins the SEC Championship, the Tide’s Playoff probability is 94%.
Many key games remain that can change the predictions significantly. Three of them in college football’s week 11 are Michigan at Penn State, Ole Miss at Georgia and Utah at Washington. ESPN projects the Wolverines versus the Nittany Lions as virtually a toss-up game with Penn State given a 50.7% probability of winning at Happy Valley.
Ole Miss and Utah are given just 31% chances to win their road games against Georgia and Washington.
Paying Attention to Alabama Football Playoff Chances
The Crimson Tide’s uphill battle since the loss to Texas has been a tough one. Some Crimson Tide fans have tempered Playoff hopes until the Tide’s victories over the Tennessee Vols and the LSU Bengal Tigers.
Taking on Kentucky in Lexington can be called a trap game for the Crimson Tide. Even if the Crimson Tide opens the game a bit flat, Alabama as the much better team should prevail in a not close finish. ESPN gives Alabama an 85.9% probability of winning.
Looking ahead to the SEC Championship game should be reserved solely for Crimson Tide fans and pundits. The Alabama football team, at least against Kentucky and Auburn, needs to maintain focus and play ‘complete’ games. Doing so against Chattanooga will be harder because the Mocs are no match for the Tide.
What gives Crimson Tide fans comfort is Alabama has become a far better team than it was in week two against the Texas Longhorns. There are reasons to believe the Tide’s best is yet to come.
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