Who has a bigger task – Alabama continuing to make its case for a playoff berth or Notre Dame, a team with one loss and ahead of Baylor, Oklahoma State and Iowa in the latest rankings?
It’s a dilemma I have been wondering about for some time. The SEC dominance over the past decade clashing with an establishment that should do the right thing, but won’t because leaving an SEC school out of the Power 5 conference deal to crown a national title is basically committing suicide. Just give the committee a very short rope and ask the members to take a long walk off a short plank.
As Larry Hinnen of CBS Sports explains…
After burying LSU, is any team closer to sealing a College Football Playoff berth than Alabama? Clemson, quite possibly, but North Carolina suddenly looms as a legitimate threat in the ACC title game; Ohio State still has a visit to Michigan and Iowa in the Big Ten championship to deal with; each Big 12 contender has multiple other Big 12 contenders still on the docket; Stanford and Utah will face Stanford.
The Crimson Tide are playing the best football of any team in the conference and possibly the country. A Clemson/Alabama matchup would be a dream matchup and solve a constant argument year after year of which conference is better, the SEC or ACC.
Coincidentally, the last time it was asked based on a national title matchup, Florida State came from behind to beat Auburn in the final game of the BCS. GO SEMINOLES!
Hinnen writes that Alabama would get Florida in the SEC Championship Game, but after watching what Vanderbilt’s defense did to Treon Harris and Co., expecting the Gators score enough on the Tide defense to win in Atlanta takes serious imagination. The same goes for Auburn and its wobbly defense. And Charleston Southern’s not worth mentioning.
We all know Nick Saban has to be a bit pleased with the way things are playing out in Tuscaloosa. It’s almost as if he planned it this way and the play of his running back, Derrick Henry, has given pause to some voters who had LSU’s Leonard Fournette as the runaway winner of the Heisman Trophy.
Of course all of this joy in Alabama goes south should the Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide and then LSU somehow sneaks back into the picture for winning the SEC West. The Tigers only loss of the season is to Alabama last week, but basically can control the division should their rival take another tumble.
This is another one of those all-important separation games SEC teams play this week. Can the Crimson Tide defense stop Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott? Everything still must fall into place for Alabama to punch its own ticket to the conference title game and then beyond.