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Jumbo Package: The latest abominable Rankings make ‘Bama’s path to the playoffs narrower than ever

So, we’re really doing this, huh?

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Alabama v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

I know it’s Gump Day, folks. And I do apologize for the dilatory manner in which this is up, but the Holidays made me lost track of the day, and there just are not a great many uplifting stories today. In fact, the two biggest pieces of news relevant to the Tide are both bad: the lack of defense being played by ‘Bama basketball, and the CFP Committee’s latest farcical playoff rankings.

Let’s get through this together, shall we?

First, the bad news: the committee did not move Alabama and Texas at all. Despite the fact FSU has looked awful the last few weeks, UT and UA’s schedules have looked a lot better, and UW/Oregon’s a whole lot worse.

But, perhaps most bafflingly, OSU was still ahead of the Tide at 6th — despite literally being behind every single metric this committee has stressed in 2023.

ESPN was brutal in its assessment of the Committee’s latest sharting on national television:

Ohio State has two marquee wins: Notre Dame and Penn State. Both are good teams, ranked in the top 20 by the committee, and suggest the Buckeyes are worthy of discussion. But Notre Dame also got smoked by Louisville and lost to a reeling Clemson team fresh off a Dabo Swinney radio rant, meanwhile Penn State was unaware it was legal to throw a pass beyond the line of scrimmage. Notre Dame’s best win, in retrospect, came against NC State. Penn State’s résumé begins and ends with Iowa. Are we absolutely sure it’s the résumé builder the committee thinks it is?

Of course, ranking Oregon ahead of all of them is even more preposterous, given the Ducks’ lack of résumé, but that problem will take care of itself in the Pac-12 title game.

Ohio State, meanwhile, is just sitting in the clubhouse, waiting for chaos, enjoying its place in the pecking order ahead of Texas and Alabama and certainly well aware that, at this point in the season, no team ranked worse than sixth has made the playoff.


Tide 102.9 has a more sanguine read on it than most do, so let’s start with the good news.

This is not a surprise to most people but the path into the Top Four has become more clear. The only big change with the rankings compared to last is that The Ohio State Buckeyes dropped all the way to No.6 after losing to Michigan in “The Game”.

Even though Ohio State is No.6 and ahead of Alabama, the Buckeyes are most likely eliminated. This year to make the playoffs, a team must have a conference championship and Ohio State will not be able to win one. Losing to Michigan in “The Game” basically sealed Ohio State’s fate of being a New Year’s Six team.

The committee though actually helped Alabama. For starters, the Ole Miss and LSU win look a little better because the two teams moved higher into the Top 15 (Ole Miss at 11 and LSU at 13). The big win for Alabama however is where the CFP put the SEC East Champion. Georgia being the No. 1 team helps Alabama in a massive way because if Alabama pulls off the upset, then the Crimson Tide would have the best win in all of College Football.

I’m not sure I agree with “favor” but I like this version of reality better than a 1-loss SEC Champion Alabama sitting at home and ranked as just the 6th best playoff participant with the No. 1 SOS and No. 3 Strength of Victories, which would almost certainly vault into the top 2, perhaps even No. 1 with a win over Georgia.


Stewart Mandel, a hack character assassin The Athletic (no, I’m still not over Brandon Miller), also takes a rosier view: The Tide’s path is clear — win and in. The weekly rankings were never meant to carry over all season, and a true look at the resume can only be conducted after everyone has banged out 13 games.

This is sort of the camp that I’m in. I think, at the end of the day, eyeballs are going to matter to the committee. So assume you have a chalk favorite weekend aside from ‘Bama, that gives you Michigan, 1-loss champs Texas / Alabama / Oregon, and then FSU. Who’s getting left out then? The ones who won’t bring the monster ratings that all of these folks have sold the sport out for. Not UM, not UT — because Texas market and cachet, duh. And very probably not Alabama. It will come down to a 1-loss but dominant Oregon and an undefeated but weak and injured FSU.

So I hope.

And, god help me, but F-Bomb agrees with me too here:

“Well, I think we’re looking at the wrong schools. To me, it should be about Florida State,” Finebaum stated on Get Up. And he did not have glowing things to say about the Seminoles.

“I know what everyone wants to say, but I don’t really care about the argument that Florida State is an… undefeated, power five champion,” Finebaum said with as much sarcasm as he could muster. “I mean, so what? They’re beating Louisville, who just lost to a pedestrian Kentucky team last week.”


Pat Forde — another smear merchant and a bit of a dipshit (no, I’m still no over the character assassination of Brandon Miller), is so wrong so often, that’s it’s almost encyclopedic. However, he nailed it down yesterday.

The CFP is about to potentially inherit a mess that is largely of its own making. Nightmare scenarios ensue:

Scenario 1: Alabama (1) defeats Georgia (2) in the Southeastern Conference championship game. This would create the potential for one of two momentous developments—the SEC champion missing the playoff, or a major head-to-head result would be nullified.

The SEC has never missed the playoff. It has won the past four national championships with three different schools—LSU, Alabama and Georgia. It has won six titles in the playoff era, while no other conference has won more than two. But if Michigan, Washington and Florida State all win their league title games to go 13–0, the focus is on the fourth spot. Could 12–1 SEC champion Alabama really vault over 12–1 Big 12 champ Texas and into the bracket?

That would trigger the second controversy: Texas (3) beat ‘Bama in Tuscaloosa by 10 points. Yeah, it was a long time ago—Sept. 9, to be specific. But doesn’t head-to-head have to matter when both teams would have the same record? Wouldn’t there have to be a reward for taking on a game at Alabama and winning it? Especially in an era when programs like Michigan are dumping non-conference games against Power Five opponents?

And they have only themselves to blame for being wowed by “eyeballs” — as this committee plainly has been, over quality on the schedule.

For Alabama to vault four spots requires some upsets and an unprecedented leap the final week of the rankings. Even Goodman admits this has been rigged:

And, as usual, Talty over at 247 has the no-frills analysis of how ‘Bama can actually make the Playoffs, given the screwjob this Big 10/P12 -heavy committee has laid on them.

Despite CFP executive director Bill Hancock reiterating on Tuesday it is four best teams and not four most deserving teams, that has rarely borne out in the actual playoff field. Alabama might beat Florida State in the “eye test” and would have more quality wins, but don’t bank on the committee leaving out the undefeated team in favor of the one-loss one.

If Florida State wins, it all comes down to Texas and, as everyone knows, the Longhorns own a head-to-head road win over the Crimson Tide. Corrigan said that a head-to-head win is a head-to-head win no matter when it occurred, which could hurt Alabama’s argument that it has evolved into the better team since the two teams met in Week 2. If Texas wins, would the committee really put it behind an Alabama team that it defeated on the field this season? Consider me very skeptical.


This is absolutely wild, man. Alabama is 3rd in the country in yards per attempt, first in air yards per throw and air yards per target...and Milroe has jumped all the way to No. 3 in the QB Power Rankings, Literally no one would have believed this in mid-October, much less at any point in September. His growth has been nothing short of spectacular. And kudos to Tommy for finally figuring out how to best use him.

Sure, you can say that Jalen Milroe running past the line of scrimmage or whiffing on a snap were crucial mistakes, and that he was bailed out by a prayer. Or you could say that Jalen Milroe understands his strengths and weaknesses and knows he is much better at throwing the deep ball than the short slant! Whichever path you choose, you can’t deny it was an incredible ending. (5)


How well is that NIL working out for the game’s stars? Well enough for Dallas Turner to invest in a Formula One team. No joke.

Ahead of this Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, Alabama star pass rusher Dallas Turner is using his NIL money to become a sports team owner!

The Alabama football star was announced today as part of an investment group featuring stars across sports, tech and entertainment who have purchased the United States SailGP Team.

The lead investor of the purchase was Avenue Sports Fund, led by CEO and former owner of the Milwaukee Bucks Marc Lasry.

Here’s a quote from Dallas Turner on his investment in the United States SailGP Team: “I want to blaze a trail for kids to think outside the box, and my investment in the U.S. SailGP Team proves that you can start building your network even while still in school.”

Via US SailGP press release

GUMP SO HARD


“One of those no-brainers.”

Yuppppp, heeeeeeeeee’s baaaaaaaaaack:

Daniel A. Moore has heard you, Alabama fans.

He is ready to oblige.

Moore announced on social media Tuesday he will be commemorating the 2023 Iron Bowl’s “Gravedigger” play in which Jalen Milroe found Isaiah Bond on fourth-and-31 with 32 seconds left to give the Crimson Tide a 27-24 win over Auburn.

According to a post on “X,” the social media platformer formerly known as Twitter, Moore’s pencil sketch will be posted in about next two weeks.

Perhaps the least surprising thing I’ve read today.


That’s it for now, folks. You have a great morning and Roll Tide.

Poll

Assuming the other four conference favorites win, is Alabama going to get screwed out of the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Yup. The fix has been in for at least the last few weeks.
    (730 votes)
  • 17%
    Maybe. There is a defensible argument for putting someone like Oregon in the playoffs instead of the Tide.
    (244 votes)
  • 18%
    No. There’s simply no way the committee is going to omit the No. 1 CFB television market from its premiere event.
    (258 votes)
  • 9%
    Uncertain / Don’t Know / Other
    (132 votes)
1364 votes total Vote Now