Yesterday, in our CFP Open Thread, I opined that the Committee would likely not move Alabama much, if any, despite notching a third win over the CFPC’s own Top 25. Though, I believed that Alabama was possibly one of the four best, and no worse than 6th — just behind Texas.
True to prophecy, the Committee did just that, keeping Alabama stalled at 8th, despite having by far the toughest schedule and most quality record of anyone in the Top 10: No. 1 per Sagarin, No. 4 per the CFP’s own rankings.
But the galling part about behind Oregon in particular is just how damned thin the Ducks resume is. You can’t make a good faith case for this record taking precedent over the Tide’s — not when both teams are 8-1, and lost to a Top 10. The difference is, Alabama’s came in the second week of the season, after losing 89% of its starting offensive production. Oregon’s came in the middle of the season, with a Heisman favorite, on a year when it returned five All PAC-12 offensive starters.
The obvious justification is the one I wrote about almost a decade ago: that we would see conferences clamoring to make this about regional representation rather than the four best. And, if TCU taught us anything, if ignoring UM’s scandalous multi-year cheating, and OSU’s diminishing quality of record, it is precisely this: If the CFP can cling on to the barest ass reason to make “national inclusivity” a thing, then they will. Everyone gets a cookies with these f’n clowns.
And, if it’s something else, I’d love to know what. Just make it make sense, Committee.
There is simply no way you can sell 4-5 Texas Tech — a game won on a last second field goal — and a dreadful 4-5 Colorado team as “key victories.” In the SEC we call those teams “bottom feeders whose coach is getting fired for Christmas.”
Literally no other ranking has the Tide below third.
The lowest? A speculative comparison of BCS to the CFP — where ‘Bama is 6th, behind the undefeateds and Texas.
(Even my own nonhomerfic algorithm has the Tide 4th, just behind Texas).
These Bozos need to hit up Amazon for some clown shoes and then go make balloon animals in children’s hospitals. Busk on a street corner. Give handies behind a Knoxville Flying J...literally anything else would be a better use of their meatsacks.
Because, you simply can’t be this dopey in loafers.
Hell, even GMac, who goes out of his way to hate on his alma mater, is baffled.
During ESPN’s CFP rankings discussion show on Tuesday, McElroy sounded off on the committee for its lack of consistency when ranking the nation’s top teams.
“Why are we using résumé to define Ohio State as No. 1? We’re using eye test to define Georgia and Michigan as No. 2 and No. 3, we’re using résumé plus eye test to find Florida State at No. 4, and then we like Washington, but, you know... there’s no consistency.” said McElroy.
And. ESPN, who has made a living off of manufacturing bad faith horse races is frankly baffled by these.
How about this comparison?
Team A: 5 wins vs. Quad 1 (i.e. top 35) teams in FPI, with its lone loss coming to a top-10 team
Team B: 5 wins vs. Quad 1 (i.e. top 35) teams in FPI, with its lone loss coming to a top-10 team.
Clearly a good comparison ... except Team A is Alabama, and Team B is Oregon and Texas combined.
Indeed, it’s almost been accepted as fact that Oregon is the best one-loss team in the country, despite the fact the Ducks’ only impressive win came against Utah, a team playing a safety at tailback and a former walk-on at QB. The next-best item on their resume is a loss.
On to news that will not make my blood pressure vault through the damn roof...
Nate Oats is continuing to kill it on the recruiting trail, with a pickup that many had seen coming for a while. By “a while,” I mean “one week.”
Naas Cunningham, a Top 5 rangy wing, is straight out of the Nate Oats “recruit by body type” playbook. He committed yesterday after his OV to Tuscaloosa over the weekend, and, just as importantly, he is very close to undecided five-star PG Derrion Reid, who is still weighing his options between ‘Bama and UGA.
Cunningham is a 6-foot-7 small forward, and ranks as a top-50 player in the 2024 class according to the majority of recruiting services, and was at one point ranked as the top overall player in the class.
Originally from Gladstone, New Jersey, Cunningham played last season in the professional Overtime Elite league in Atlanta, where he averaged 14.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He did not receive a salary from OTE, allowing him to maintain his collegiate eligibility.
Cunningham has a long and rangy build that has become a staple of Alabama wings in recent years. He has tremendous athleticism to go along with his length, giving him tools to be a great defensive player.
On the offense end, he’s a high-level shot-maker at all levels, including beyond the arc. He’s explosive in transition and has the ability to play at the up-tempo pace Oats expects from his players on both ends of the floor. His skillset and size combine to make the ideal big wing in Oats’ system, and he will surely be utilized accordingly once he gets on campus.
Welcome to the Capstone, Naas. Now, go call your boy.
One of the saner takes on the CFP brouhaha is (naturally) from Talty. He rightly points out the biggest impediment to the Tide making the playoff is Texas. Mitigators aside, I don’t think we’ll see the grace afforded to OSU in 2014 being applied to ‘Bama in 2023. Alabama really needs some losses ahead of them.
We can hope for a road Sarking in TCU this week, Michigan to fold under the White Out in Happy Valley, and that Utah’s ability to RTDB and tackle in space finally punishes Washington for playing one half of the game.
If you want to see someone almost break their back bending over to kiss a fanbase’s ass, I give you this bit of chicanery from Joseph “Brandon Miller Killed A Guy” Goodman, wherein he compares Jalen Milroe to Tim Tebow.
In terms of the comparison? I don’t think it’s valid. Tebow never held on to the ball this long, for starters. It has taken a few years in the system and almost a full year of starts for Milroe to begin to play the position. Tebow was a Heisman candidate his freshman year, for good reason. The more apt comparison is probably a very unpolished Cam Newton size and power with Lamar Jackson speed. And, in a year or two he may get to that level. But for now, let’s tap the brakes.
And, no, Joe. I still haven’t forgiven you.
But, Jalen did rack up the accolades after his record-setting performance on Saturday night.
On Monday, Milroe was tabbed a Manning Award Star of the Week. He then received Davey O’Brien “Great 8” recognition while being named the Maxwell Player of the Week and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Player of the Week on Tuesday morning. All four national accolades were in addition to his SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors to begin Monday.
Well done, Big No. 4
He’s come a long way since those unsteady first 4-5 games. During the game on Saturday, we wondered and sort of reached the consensus if benching Milroe for USF didn’t retard his development a bit (though, it was 100% the right decision based on what we knew at the time). Or, how much the season could have changed had he not thrown that first series interception versus Texas. No. 4 had marched the ball down the field, and tossed a pick into the end zone. If that throw is a touchdown, does his confidence solidify and make him a more effective player down the stretch?
Because, it is clear, the offense is at its best when Milroe is confident and he doesn’t have too much time to think back there.
Early on, it wasn’t working. Rees and Alabama were trying to put a square peg into a round hole and decided to find a differently shaped peg. When neither Tyler Buchner nor Ty Simpson proved to be the answer, the Tide returned to Milroe. Thus began a collaborative process: Milroe picked up more of Rees’ offense and Rees adapted his offense to Milroe’s strengths.
Ever since, Alabama has used a passing attack that I refer to as the “Dink and Detonate Offense.” It’s primarily a combination of easy, short throws and deep bombs, which are easier for Milroe. The intermediate stuff has been removed for the most part, and the results have been outstanding.
I expected to see more of it Saturday night against LSU. The Tigers secondary had been torn apart all year and there was little reason to believe Alabama wouldn’t continue operating as it had been. I was wrong.
Finally, keep an eye on this going forward too: Jam Miller’s role increasing. If you noticed, Miller got a lot more snaps on Saturday than he’s had all year.
He saw the most extensive playing time of his UA career on Saturday, at least from a first-team standpoint. Against LSU, the sophomore running back played a season-high 13 offensive snaps in the 42-28 victory, according to Pro Football Focus. Miller rushed for 17 yards on four carries with a long run of 10 yards and caught his first pass of the 2023 campaign.
What led to the recent uptick in usage for the young Crimson Tide runner?
“Jam has played really, really well all year long,” head coach Nick Saban said. “Jase (McClellan) has played a lot of football this year and is a little bit banged up, so those guys have gotten more reps in practice, so I wanted to give him and Roydell (Williams) a little more time in the game, and both guys came through and did a really good job.”
I’m happy for Jam, but let’s say the quiet part out loud though: we all want to see Justice Haynes get the ball.
That’s it for now, we’ll be back with the Blog Poll in a bit. I came down RSV and the worst sinus infection I’ve had in years. For the first time in two decades, I have spent five straight days in bed, stoned out of my gourd, sleeping — even that open thread yesterday was dictated on my phone. This is the first productive thing I’ve done in almost a week.
But, we’ll see you then. Roll Tide.
The College Football Playoff Committee is...
This poll is closed
Doing their best, given some very difficult data points and unequal comparisons.
May be legitimately trying, but they are too stupid or too pressured by outside interests to make meaningful rankings
Indefensible. They’re not even trying any more.
I’ve got a sketchy cousin who just got out of prison, a ‘74 Fleetside, and know a spot in the Sipsey where they’ll never be found.