TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — For the first time since 2013, Alabama football won’t be participating in Championship Saturday.
Alabama’s loss at Auburn ended the Crimson Tide’s hunt for a fourth straight SEC championship, and also put the Tide’s playoff hopes in the balance.
Alabama needs some help on Championship Saturday. Not sure how much it’ll matter in the long run, but Alabama fans should hope Fresno State defeats Boise State and remains in the Top 25.
Here’s a Crimson Tide fan guide to the games.
Wins vs. current Top 25 teams based on ranking:
1. Clemson 3
2. Auburn 3
3. Oklahoma 3
4. Wisconsin 1
5. Alabama 3
6. Georgia 2
7. Miami 2
8. Ohio State 2
9. Penn State 1
10. USC 1
11. TCU 1
12. Stanford 2
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 29, 2017
No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 7 Miami (ACC Championship)
There’s not really much to take from this one. The winner of this game is in, and the loser is out. There was some chatter about Clemson potentially staying in the top four with a loss because of their overall résumé, but that seems unlikely.
You can somewhat excuse Clemson’s loss to Syracuse because the Tigers didn’t have their quarterback. But putting a two-loss Clemson team without a conference championship in over a one-loss Alabama team would make the committee look bad.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 6 Georgia (SEC Championship)
This one won’t affect Alabama’s chances at all. Winner is in, loser is out.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on CBS.
No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 TCU (Big 12 Championship)
If we’re being honest, a TCU win over Oklahoma kind of feels like Alabama’s only hope to get in the playoff at this point.
Based on what the College Football Playoff committee has said and done, Alabama fans can’t expect to get in over the Buckeyes even if they probably should.
Oklahoma beat TCU handily earlier in the season, but rematches can be tricky.
Roll Horned Frogs Roll?
Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 ET on FOX.
No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Ohio State (Big Ten Championship)
If Wisconsin wins, the Badgers are in the final four. Who knows how good the Badgers are at this point. They have only one win over teams currently in the Top 25, but that wouldn’t matter if they finish undefeated with a conference championship.
As for Ohio State, it’s hard to believe the committee would try to justify choosing a team that has a 31-point loss to a 7-5 Iowa team on its résumé. Still, it’s clear the committee likes the Buckeyes for some reason. Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said Tuesday night that there’s “very little separation” between No. 5 (Alabama) and No. 8 (Ohio State).
Even if you add a Big Ten title to the Buckeyes’ résumé, that shouldn’t be enough to excuse two blowout losses, including that 55-24 drubbing by Iowa. Iowa.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Ohio State lost 2 games this year by a combined total of 46 points, one to a 7-5 team.
Alabama lost once and it was to the #2 team on the road.
No brainer, if it comes down to it.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) November 29, 2017
No. 10 USC vs. No. 12 Stanford (Pac-12 Championship)
On the surface, this one doesn’t seem worth mentioning. No way a two-loss USC team that was dominated by Notre Dame leaps Alabama, right?
You’d think that would be the case, but ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit told SEC Country that Alabama fans must worry about the Trojans getting a look as a playoff team if they win the Pac-12.
That honestly feels like a stretch. After all, no one seems to be mentioning TCU as a potential playoff team if it is able to knock off Oklahoma, so what makes USC different?
This is the only championship game scheduled for Friday night. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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