Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama must remain undefeated to make it to championship

As of right now, Alabama is having what could potentially be a season for the ages. It’s destroying opponents and is well underway to what could be an unbelievable second-consecutive national championship season – the third in four seasons. It’s truly an amazing time to be a Crimson Tide fan right now.

With that said, all of that could slip away with a single loss this season.

I don’t want to scare anyone – Alabama is, as of right now, in complete control of its destiny. But, should it lose even one of its five remaining games, Alabama’s title hopes are over. Here’s how. Let’s go ahead and assume that an undefeated Southeastern Conference team will make the national title game. So, that leaves only three possible teams in that category: Alabama, Florida, and the surprise of the SEC, Mississippi State.

Obviously, Alabama has to win out in the process of eliminating Mississippi State and Florida, should it make the SEC Championship game. It would also beat out LSU, who lost early enough to a talented-enough South Carolina team to have an outside chance to make the national championship game.

But, should Alabama lose to any of these teams – or any other, for that matter – it’ll completely take itself out of the national title picture.

You could make the argument that a one-loss Alabama could make the trip to Miami, but it’s too late in the season for that to happen. It’s a simple “What have you done for me lately?” scenario. So, should Alabama lose, its destiny would be put in the hands of these teams.

Let’s start in the Pac-12. There are two teams out there, Oregon and Oregon State, who have a legitimate shot at the national title as of right now. Obviously, someone has to lose between them, and conventional wisdom says it’ll probably go to the Ducks. If they win out, they’ll have beaten Stanford, OSU, and USC twice, if the Trojans can make it back to the Pac-12 Championship game.

Let’s head over to the Big 12. There’s only one team there with a real shot at the title, and that’s Kansas State, who, if it wins out this season, will have beaten Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Texas, although it will have a slight disadvantage in the polls because it doesn’t have a conference championship game.

That leaves one other school that has any hope at all of making the national title. That, of course, is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. If they remain unbeaten, they’ll have beaten Stanford, USC, Oklahoma, Michigan and Michigan State.

There’s still Rutgers, Louisville and Ohio that remain unbeaten, but even if they should remain so, it would be a long shot for them to make the title game. So, we now have all the players. Obviously, Alabama will have to win out in the SEC, including a potential championship game against Florida. That leaves three other potential undefeated teams with impressive resumes at the end of the season: Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon. If Alabama loses just once, what are the odds that all three of those teams would also have lost? I wouldn’t put my money on it.

Even if that scenario, however unlikely, did happen, it wouldn’t matter. After what happened last year, with an all SEC national championship, there’s no way a one-loss SEC team other than LSU could make the title game. No way.

So, there it is: Every game Alabama has from now on is essentially a playoff game. Win, and you advance. Lose, and that’s it. It’s that simple.

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