Happy Monday, everyone. We’ve already heard Nick Saban’s argument for Alabama to make the playoff. Here’s what Yahoo’s Nick Bromberg and Sam Cooper think about the Tide’s odds.
Alabama (10-2): 10%
The Crimson Tide won 10 or more games in the regular season for the 15th consecutive season after beating Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Alabama will be ahead of both the teams it lost to in the rankings on Tuesday and likely right behind Ohio State. If the Crimson Tide are ahead of the Buckeyes on Tuesday — and we’re not totally ruling it out — then these odds need a boost.
Alabama’s chances basically hinge on three factors: that Ohio State took a blowout loss at home while Alabama lost two very close games on the road, Alabama’s SOS is 8th vs. Ohio State’s 34th, and it could be argued that Bryce Young’s shoulder wasn’t 100% healthy in the two losses. The narrative across the country this morning seems to be that TCU is in win or lose since they finished the regular season unbeaten and shouldn’t be “punished” for taking their first loss in a rematch vs. a good team in a conference title game that neither Ohio State nor Alabama had to play. Honestly, that’s tough to argue with.
If the committee agrees with that assessment then there is only one potential spot on the line, which will undoubtedly be occupied by USC when the rankings come out tomorrow. The Trojans are only 14th in FPI with the 57th toughest schedule and took a loss against it, so they’d be a shaky selection to be the first two loss team selected for the playoff in its ninth year of existence.
To be frank, I’m perfectly fine with the committee maintaining the precedent that two losses gets you left out. At the very least, that preserves some of the sanctity of the regular season for a while even if the long term battle is futile. We will find out tomorrow, and all indications are that you can start making your reservations for New Orleans if Alabama is 6th.
Chase Goodbread wrote a nice tribute to Bryce.
“I’m sure he played with a little pain at times, which shows the kind of mental toughness he has,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “The guy is a great competitor, he’s got great grit, and I can’t say enough about what he’s done for our team this year.”
What he’s done commands respect.
What he’s done pulled a team together that at times appeared to be on the brink of coming apart.
What he’s done probably won’t ever fully get the credit it deserves. It gets full credit here.
By all accounts, Bryce is an outstanding human being and makes some amazing plays on the field. His career numbers are more good than great, but many have said that he’s done as well as can be expected with the skill weapons he was given. His draft evaluation will certainly be interesting to follow, as will his NFL career.
Being that the only football game left is more than likely an exhibition featuring a different looking Alabama squad, it’s safe to say that we are officially shifting into basketball mode. As you well know, the Tide knocked off top ranked North Carolina yesterday in a 60 minute battle of attrition. Matt Noriander at CBS is still posting like it’s 2015 or something.
Maybe the concerning thing is, although Alabama’s a Top 25 team, UNC shouldn’t be in a position to need merely one more play than Alabama to win its games. The Tar Heels led by six in the third overtime and let that lead disintegrate. This win was Alabama’s first over a No. 1 team in the regular season since 1994, and its first overall since defeating Stanford in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Tide coach Nate Oats said he’d never been involved in a four-OT game before. Alabama will head back 2-1 in the PKI, with a win over Michigan State along with Friday night’s loss to No. 20 UConn.
For a man who gets paid to write about college basketball by an outlet the size of CBS, he seems pretty ignorant as to the talent on Alabama’s roster. The Heels came into that game as 1.5 point underdogs despite the rankings. In any case, Alabama has more giant slaying to do. As Mike Rodak notes, Nate Oats and company may not be waiting long before their next shot at the top ranked team.
North Carolina, which struggled in the tournament opener against Portland and then lost to Iowa State, will almost certainly lose its No. 1 ranking Monday when the AP poll is updated. If current No. 2 Houston moves into the top spot, Alabama could face its third top-ranked team of 2022 when it travels Dec. 10 to play the Cougars.
Imagine thinking just a few short years ago that Alabama would be legitimately competing with, let alone beating, Michigan State and North Carolina without it seeming like a fluke. Hopefully the team can keep progressing on offense, but the effort they have displayed thus far is very encouraging.
Last, Jalen Hurts is out here setting records...
Hurts became the first player in NFL history with at least 125 rushing yards and 125 passing yards in the same half of one game, and he broke the franchise record for rushing yards by a quarterback with the fourth-highest total for a QB in an NFL regular-season game.
The Eagles’ quarterback rushing record had been set by Michael Vick in a 38-31 victory over the New York Giants on Dec. 19, 2010. Hurts turned in the 11th 100-yard rushing game by a Philadelphia QB. His name is on the list twice now, the same number as Vick’s, with Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb appearing three times apiece.
...as is Jaylen Waddle...
Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa stepped from behind the lectern after his Sunday press conference, presumably to find former Alabama and current Dolphins teammate Jaylen Waddle.
Tagovailoa hoped to be the first to tell the wide receiver that he had broken the franchise record for receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons on Sunday.
...and damn, Baby Rhino! 300 yards in one game? Have mercy.
Josh Jacobs had 229 rushing yards and 74 receiving yards today. First time in NFL history a player has topped 220 rushing and 70 receiving in a game.— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) November 28, 2022
The last 86 of those yards came in overtime, when he called game.
HE GONE‼️‼️@iAM_JoshJacobs OT GAME WINNER.— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) November 28, 2022
: CBS pic.twitter.com/8JtHrsHSR2
That man earned his postgame ice bath.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.