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Ask Farrell: Can Alabama still make the CFB Playoffs?

On Saturday’s Georgia-Auburn broadcast, CBS analyst Gary Danielson said that Alabama should be in the top four of the College Football Playoff if it beats Auburn without quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The former high four-star and Crimson Tide star dislocated his hip and suffered a posterior wall fracture in Alabama’s win over Mississippi State early Saturday and he’s done for the season. His college career is likely over.

The Crimson Tide are currently fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia.

There are still many scenarios that can play out - like Ohio State losing to Penn State this weekend or to Michigan or in the Big Ten title game or Clemson being upset by someone although that seems unlikely - and then the SEC has to play out as well.

LSU will face Georgia in the SEC championship and one of those teams will lose, putting the fifth place team to move up in the College Football rankings.

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But Alabama is now without its star quarterback and will lean on backup Mac Jones, who has thrown only 65 passes all season for 566 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.

Behind Alabama in the playoff rankings are Pac-12 teams Oregon and Utah who will play for the conference championship and both are 9-1. Minnesota, Penn State and Oklahoma also sit at 9-1 at this point.

Alabama is sitting in a tough position as it won’t win its division, won’t play for the conference title and is now without Tagovailoa for the remainder of the season.

We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he agrees at all with Danielson’s statement or if he doesn’t see any realistic path for Alabama to get back into the playoff discussion at this point?


"A lot of things would have to happen for Alabama to get back in and I could see them happening even with the loss of Tua Tagovailoa. But obviously Alabama needs some help and first needs to get past a tough Auburn team.

"Minnesota is likely out now after its loss to Iowa, even if they run the table and beat Ohio State or Penn State in the Big Ten title game. I can see the committee putting Alabama ahead of the Gophers. Baylor is also out, as is Oklahoma despite its win in Waco on Saturday. Clemson is in unless the Tigers fall to a shocking upset and I don't see that happening.

"The real problem here is the SEC. Alabama really needs Texas A&M to beat Georgia and then for LSU to beat Georgia in the SEC title game and hope that the committee will want two SEC teams. At that point LSU and Alabama will have the best resumes in the conference.

"Do I agree with Danielson that Alabama should be No. 4 now? No. There is no way the Crimson Tide should leapfrog three undefeated teams and a one-loss Georgia team that just beat Auburn on the road. But can Alabama sneak in? Yes it could happen, with some help."