The Alabama Crimson Tide theoretically have a chance to make the College Football Playoff with the right losses on Saturday, but they don’t deserve it.
Neither the Alabama Crimson Tide nor the Ohio State Buckeyes are on the field for conference championship weekend after coming in at No. 6 and 5, respectively, in the penultimate College Football Playoff rankings. With no ability to pick up another signature win and capture a conference crown, what both teams needed was a lot of help (and chaos) to make the Top 4.
That chaos began on Friday night as USC blew a 17-3 lead by allowing Utah to go on a 44-7 run over the final 39 minutes of game action and losing the Pac-12 Championship Game. Most assumed that result knocked the Trojans out of the Playoff and put Ohio State in the No. 4 spot. And that then left Alabama fans hoping for more chaos to ensue on Saturday, namely hoping for TCU to lose to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game.
If the Horned Frogs were to lose, that may well be enough for the selection committee to put the Crimson Tide into the Playoff. But it shouldn’t be.
Alabama has no case to be in the College Football Playoff this season.
Alabama doesn’t deserve to make the College Football Playoff over any other contender
If you put any coach who isn’t Nick Saban on the sidelines and took the cursive crimson “A” off the side of the helmet, there is no shot that Alabama should be a realistic College Football Playoff contender based on how its resumé stacks up against a team like TCU or even Ohio State for that matter.
For the season, Alabama has played two teams ranked inside the Top 15 of the latest CFP rankings. They lost to both Tennessee and LSU. Sure, both games were on the road and both losses were by one score, but they were losses. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide have just two wins over teams inside the CFP Top 25, No. 20 Texas (a win that came with Quinn Ewers exiting at the end of the first quarter) and No. 24 Mississippi State.
Compare that to TCU and it’s not even a case. Not only did the Horned Frogs actually make it into their conference championship game but they came into the weekend at a perfect 12-0. Moreover, Sonny Dykes’ team has as many Top 25 wins as the Crimson Tide, including the best win among the two programs when they beat Kansas State, who they were facing in the Big 12 title tilt.
Moreover, when you even get outside of the Top 25, Alabama has just three wins over FBS teams that won more than six games this season. TCU, meanwhile, has five wins of that caliber to its credit.
Based on everything that the committee should value — namely, winning games against good teams — the Horned Frogs should be locked into the College Football Playoff along with Georgia and Michigan, leaving Alabama no shot.
That might not be the way things play out. There’s a real chance the selection committee, which has routinely not shown TCU respect throughout this season, favors Alabama for television ratings or whatever else. But based on getting the four best teams from the 2022 season into the Playoff by way of what they accomplished this season, Alabama deserves to be left out.