Path To The 2018 College Football Playoff: Alabama Crimson Tide
What is Alabama’s path to the 2018 College Football Playoff? What are the different ways the Crimson Tide can get in?
Path To The Playoff: Alabama
What’s The Easiest Path?
It’s a simple world for Alabama. As head coach Nick Saban said, “What significance does the (College Football Playoff) poll have right now?”
For Alabama, none.
Obviously, this is one of the few teams that controls its own destiny. Win out against LSU, at Mississippi State, Mercer and at Auburn, and win the SEC Championship over – most likely – Georgia, and the Crimson Tide are in as the unquestioned No. 1 seed going to – almost certainly – the Sugar Bowl.
But, What Happens If …
Alabama loses one game.
If it loses once in the regular season but beats Georgia in the SEC Championship, it’s in. The win over the Bulldogs – and the SEC title – would trump all the other one-loss teams.
If it gets to Atlanta at 12-0 but loses the SEC Championship, it’ll almost certainly still get in if Georgia is 13-0, but it would need Wisconsin and/or Miami to not finish 13-0 to be assured of an invite. It would also be a huge help if Notre Dame lost along the way.
The Realistic Worst Case Scenario
Auburn or LSU beats the Crimson Tide and goes off to the SEC Championship.
Even if Alabama finishes 11-1, it’ll take a minor miracle to find its way in considering the rest of the schedule is just okay, not amazing. There isn’t a road win over Oklahoma like Ohio State had last year, when the Buckeyes got in at 11-1 without winning the division.
Bama would need a Notre Dame loss, could use an extra Penn State gaffe, and at least two Power Five conference champions need to have two losses or more.
Okay, What’s Going To Happen?
Alabama will get into the College Football Playoff in some way.
Most likely, it’ll be 12-0 and be in no matter what happens in the SEC Championship, or it could still get in going 12-1 with an SEC title.