Alabama Football in the first 12-team CFB Playoffs and what will not happen

What could happen and will not happen to Alabama Football and other SEC teams in the first 12-team Playoff selection process.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

If Phil Steele's predicted order of finish for SEC football teams is correct, Alabama Football will be in a great position for the CFB Playoffs. As the SEC's top four 2024 teams, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Ole Miss should become Playoff locks.

In Steele's prediction, tied for 5th in the SEC are LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. At least two, and probably three of those teams will not make the CFB Playoff. There is almost no chance the CFB Playoff Selection Committee will award SEC football teams with five of its seven slots for at-large teams. Even if the SEC has six of college football's best 12 teams, the Playoff structure is not designed to select all of the 12 best teams. It is a serious flaw in the 5+7 format.

Another set of predictions, provided by 247Sports has five SEC teams finishing the regular season at 10-2. The prediction has the Texas Longhorns at the top with an 11-1 record, followed by 10-2 teams, Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, and Alabama.

If the 247Sports prediction is correct, how will the Selection Committee defend the current Playoff structure, after at least one 10-2 SEC team is not selected? Recently, ESPN's Heather Dinich posed five questions for the Selection Committee. Her two most important questions are how will Strength of Schedule (SOS) be used; and what will be the criteria for ranking the Group of Five conference champion.

SEC Football Fans Want Answers

Dinich could not provide answers because the Selection Committee does not and probably will not have clear answers. As Dinich elaborates, last season's rankings indicate a glaring flaw. Last December the Selection Committee ranked undefeated Liberty as the No. 23 team. That ranking gained the Flames a Fiesta Bowl slot, in which Liberty was destroyed by Oregon 45-6.

Dinich explained Liberty's ranking came "without beating a single Power 5 opponent. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Flames had the easiest schedule in the country last year (No. 133) entering the postseason. Eight of Liberty's 12 regular-season opponents finished with losing records."

Only a Liberty fan can think the Selection Committee's decision was defensible. And something similar is likely to happen again in the first 12-team Playoff format. In a small defense of last season's ranking of Liberty, the AP Poll was worse than the Selection Committee. The AP Poll voters had the Flames at No. 18 going into the Fiesta Bowl.

Alabama Football and Georgia dominate Phil Steele's All-America teams. Alabama Football and Georgia dominate Phil Steele's All-America teams. dark. Next