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Alabama will get one final look from the College Football Playoff choice committee.
Whether the Crimson Tide deserves it is debatable at greatest, however after each TCU (12-1) and Southern California (11-2) misplaced, the committee not less than wants to speak about making Alabama (10-2) the first workforce with two to make losses to achieve the playoffs.
Tide coach Nick Saban, with no game to play, spent his Saturday doing a media tour and lobbying for his workforce.
“If we played one of these teams that’s about to get in, would we be the underdog or the favorite?” Saban mentioned at halftime in the Big Ten championship on Fox.
The subject of 4 will probably be introduced on Sunday.
Defending champion Georgia (13-0) will probably be No. 1 after the Bulldogs gained the Southeastern Conference — by the ranks. No debate about it.
TCU coach Sonny Dykes mentioned he was involved about the Horned Frogs’ playoff standing however had religion in the committee.
“I think we definitely deserve it,” mentioned Dykes.
He’s proper, however the entrance 4 did not place themselves easily over the championship weekend.
Friday’s lack of No. 4 USC to No. 12 Utah in the Pac-12 championship just about ended the Trojans’ playoff hopes.
That was large information for the Ohio State No. 5 and coach Ryan Day.
“You’re welcome, Coach Day,” mentioned Kyle Whittingham of Utah.
Every week after the Buckeyes (11-1) have been crushed at residence by No. 2 Michigan, followers in Columbus have been riveted to occasions in Las Vegas and acquired the consequence they wanted — and possibly a rematch with the Wolverines of their future.
Michigan (13-0) stomped Purdue Saturday night time en path to a second straight Big Ten championship.
Championship Saturday started with the third-ranked Horned Frogs falling to Thirteenth-ranked Kansas State in the Big 12 title game. As it has been all yr, it was a wild experience for the Hypnotoads. They erased an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter after a heroic efficiency from Max Duggan earlier than dropping in time beyond regulation.
The Frogs made their solution to the clubhouse after beating each workforce they performed in opposition to, with many shut selections and comebacks, however no convention championship.
There is precedent for undefeated groups dropping their convention title video games and remaining in the prime 4. Georgia was No. 1 when it occurred in opposition to Alabama final yr and dropped to No. 3.
In 2020, Notre Dame misplaced a rematch with Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, rising from 2nd to 4th.
There’s no earlier case to assist Alabama make the playoffs beneath these circumstances, however that system has solely been round for 9 years. Don’t dwell an excessive amount of on previous outcomes that predict the committee’s future efficiency.
The tide has its followers.
“I’m no expert but no one can convince me that @AlabamaFTBL isn’t any better than these teams I’ve watched despite two heartbreaking Ls. If the rule is BEST 4 for the playoffs, BAMA should be in it,” tweeted ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale.
So that’s what ‘Bama has to offer.
The 13-member selection committee has already made a questionable decision that went Alabama’s way when it finished sixth on the Tide last week and Tennessee, which defeated Alabama in October, finished seventh.
The committee chairman cited Alabama’s narrow losses compared to the Volunteers (10-2), who were solidly beaten in the two games they lost.
Alabama lost twice in the final game of the game, with three in Tennessee and one at No. 11 LSU (9-4). The LSU result doesn’t look quite as impressive after Georgia inflicted a 50-30 loss on the Tigers simply because it was possible.
Also of note: Tennessee beat LSU 40-13.
Alabama also has its share of great escapes. Games against Texas and Texas A&M came down to the last play. Alabama’s best wins? Probably against Mississippi State, Mississippi and Texas, all 8-4.
TCU’s résumé is built primarily on the premise that the Big 12 is a conference with no slight failures. Oddly enough, the Frogs’ best win got better on Saturday when they lost a rematch to Kansas State, which was already in the committee top 10.
The best argument for Alabama is advanced metrics. This weekend, ESPN’s SP+ had the Tide in fourth place and its FPI had Alabama in second place. FEI, fielded by Football Outsiders, finished fifth with Alabama.
A compilation of popular computer formula rankings had Alabama third and TCU eighth. These are the type of forward-looking metrics used by odds makers.
Saban is right. Put Tide and Frogs on a neutral square and yes, Alabama will be favored by at least one touchdown.
But Alabama was favored against both Tennessee (7 1/2 points, according to FanDuel Sportsbook) and LSU (12 1/2).
Recruitment rankings also give Alabama an edge. The Tide has the second most talented roster in college football after Georgia when counting the stars. TCU is 32.
But the results of the games have to matter, or why let Alabama play at all?
“How are they enjoying proper now?” Saban told ESPN, citing the Tide’s 3-0 finish on the season with healthy quarterback Bryce Young.
Since Tide and Ohio State essentially benefited from not winning their divisions and currently not playing, while USC and TCU had to prove themselves once again.
“I do not assume we ought to be penalized for coming to the Big 12 championship game,” Dykes mentioned.
A playoff offer should be a reward for the season. What did Alabama do on the field to deserve it?
WHAT ABOUT THE HEISMAN?
The Heisman Trophy appeared to be losing USC quarterback Caleb Williams ahead of the weekend.
The Trojans lost, but Williams was as impressive as ever, limping through most of the Pac-12 championship game after straining his Achilles tendon. He rushed for 363 yards, was under a lot of pressure and lacked his usual mobility.
Still, the door was at least ajar for Duggan, and boy did he break through.
Battered and injured, Duggan had 251 passing yards and 110 rushing. For some reason, on two attempts in the end zone from the 1 in OT, Dykes didn’t call Duggan’s number either time.
Williams finished the regular season with 37 touchdown passes, four interceptions, 9.1 yards per pass and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Duggan goes into the postseason with 30 touchdown passes, four picks, 9.0 yards per pass and six rushing touchdowns.
The Heisman finalists will be announced Monday, but both Williams and Duggan should book trips to New York City for next Saturday’s handover.
Directly after a while in the chilly tub.
Here’s how the College Football Playoffs and New Year’s Six Bowl selections should fare:
Peach Bowl – No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Ohio State
Fiesta Bowl – No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU
Rose Bowl – Utah vs Penn State
Sugar Bowl – State of Kansas vs. Alabama
Orange Bowl – Clemson vs. Tennessee
Cotton Bowl – USC vs. Tulane.
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