The College Football Playoff race was thrown into flux Saturday when No. 1 Alabama lost to No. 6 Auburn, likely leaving the Crimson Tide on the outside looking in entering conference championship Saturday.
But while Alabama likely will be slotted outside the top four Tuesday when the rankings are released, they figure to be in a good position to jump back into the mix should Oklahoma or Wisconsin lose Saturday.
But is there a possibility that an 11-1 Alabama team would be jumped by two-loss Ohio State if the Buckeyes beat undefeated Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship Game?
ESPN’s College Football Playoff insider Heather Dinich broke down such a possibility Monday on “SportsCenter,” and while it would require a couple moving parts, she says the committee likely would favor the Buckeyes over the Tide as the final playoff team if the cards perfectly fall.
While Ohio State would need to beat Wisconsin, they also would need Georgia to defeat Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, Oklahoma to beat TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game, and Clemson to beat Miami in the ACC Title Game. In this scenario, Dinich says the final spot would come down to the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes.
“What happens now is Alabama’s resume comes under the microscope for those 13 people,” Dinich said. “Entering that Auburn game, it (Alabama) was 62nd in strength of schedule. You look at Ohio State. Ohio State would be coming off a top four win against the only undefeated Power Five team in the country remaining, that’s better than anything Alabama has on its current resume. Add to that, people forget they (Ohio State) beat a ranked Penn State team, a ranked Michigan State team.
“Now would that outweigh giving up 55 points to Iowa? A loss, two losses, also losing to Oklahoma. Look just because you’re Alabama doesn’t mean you’re in, I think they (the committee) would lean toward Ohio State.”
Now that’s a Nick Saban press conference we’d like to see.
Of course, if Wisconsin and Oklahoma take care of business Saturday, the playoff field will be set with the ACC and SEC champions filling out the bracket alongside the Badgers and Sooners.
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