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Take Two: Will Alabama back its way into the CFB Playoff?

Jalen Hurts

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.

MORE TAKE TWO: Is Wisconsin recruiting not getting enough respect?


The newest edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday with Clemson leading the way, followed by Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Alabama is ranked fifth.

Yes, the Crimson Tide, who lost by 12 points at Auburn last weekend, sit in prime position to move back into the Final Four if certain things happen this weekend.

If Miami beats Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, would the Hurricanes jump all the way from No. 7 to No. 4? If Ohio State defeats Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, could the Buckeyes possibly move up from No. 8 to No. 4? If Georgia downs Auburn in the SEC championship, would the Bulldogs jump over Alabama? If TCU beats Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, it’s nearly unfathomable that the Horned Frogs move all the way up from No. 11.

Do the Crimson Tide sit in prime position if any of those things happen to move right back into the top four - possibly the only team to not win its division or play in a conference title game to make the Final Four?

Putting Alabama in fifth place might have been a sign that if any of the teams above it goes down this weekend, coach Nick Saban has his team right back in the College Football Playoff picture.

After the loss to Auburn last weekend, Saban said his team “deserves” an opportunity to get into the playoff. He might get his wish this weekend - without even playing a game.


“Losing to Auburn, as bitter as that is for Alabama fans, is not fatal when looking at the playoff picture. Auburn now 10-2 on the season is playing the best football in the nation and has beaten two No. 1 teams in the last 21 days. As Nick Saban said in his post-game press conference following Alabama's 26-14 loss, few teams have been able to win 11 games and those that have won 11 games have far worse losses on their resume. Oklahoma at 11-1 lost at home to Iowa State, Clemson at 11-1 lost on the road to Syracuse, and Georgia, which is also 11-1, lost at Auburn. Teams on the verge of winning 11 games like Miami and Ohio State also have ugly losses with the Hurricanes recently losing to Pittsburgh and Ohio State losing to Iowa.

“The committee will also look at quality wins and the skeptics against Alabama could argue that the Crimson Tide's schedule was rather light in 2017 with their only marquee wins coming against LSU and Mississippi State.”


“The CFB Playoff Selection Committee did it last year with Ohio State, but I don’t think they want to do it again. They got a lot of flak for it last year, especially after Ohio State got crushed by Clemson.

“If all goes as planned with Clemson and Oklahoma winning, you take the winner of the SEC over Alabama and then if Wisconsin wins you have to take a conference champion. Alabama needs help. They need Oklahoma or Wisconsin to lose and then they could get in.”