Nick Saban and Alabama football are on the outside looking in at the College Football Playoff. However, if there was to be a glimmer of hope, the door was left cracked over conference championship weekend.
USC lost on Friday, which all-but eliminated the Trojans from Playoff contention. While Georgia and Michigan won their respective conference titles on Saturday, TCU did not.
The Horned Frogs lost their first game of the year to the Kansas State Wildcats in overtime. More than likely, Sonny Dykes’ team will still get in.
But what if they didn’t? Who would get their spot? Who will get USC’s spot?
Based on the current standings, one-loss Ohio State will presumably leapfrog Lincoln Riley’s program. However, the committee could decide that a two-loss Alabama team is more deserving. It could also decide that a two-loss Crimson Tide program is more deserving than a one-loss Big 12 team.
They probably won’t, but they could.
To make his case for why Alabama deserves to make the Playoff, Saban asked one question.
Would Ohio State, TCU or USC be favored in a game against the team from Tuscaloosa?
Well, I think the whole goal is to get the best teams in. What I would say to the committee or anyone else is if we played any of the teams that are on the edge of getting in, would we be the underdog, or would we be the favorite? I think if you could answer that question and the goal is to get the best teams in, then you would say they belong in there.
— Nick Saban on the CFP
In addition, Saban pointed to various injuries throughout the year— Bryce Young in particular.
We lost 2 games on the road in a tough league to 2 top-10 teams, one top-5 team on the last play of the game. We had our opportunities. We weren’t 100%, Bryce Young wasn’t 100%, he was injured in the mid-part of the season.
— Nick Saban on Alabama’s 2022 season
Saban also spoke to how the Crimson Tide played better at the end of the season. He believes that should be factored in.
When asked to name the other three teams that should make the Playoff, Saban declined. The 71-year-old coaching legend does not like to talk about other programs.
Saban reminded the committee that Alabama played five road games this season against top-25 teams, with three against top-10 teams.
That’s a grueling schedule […] We shouldn’t just be looking at metrics of one-loss, 2-loss, I think who are the best teams.
— Nick Saban on eye test vs. resume
Here is his full pitch:
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