Immediately after the Alabama Crimson Tide lost, it was a scramble to see where the pollsters would put them. And, there was a cognitive thought process going where you went back and forth on how they could/could not reach the National Title game.
As long as they win out, The Tide are going to look good going into the SEC Championship game. They will meet the Georgia Bulldogs in all likely hood. The Dogs will be ranked at least in the Top 5 going into the match up. This means #4 and #5 will be going at it in the SEC Title game. If Georgia wins, they will do no better than #4 most likely. If Alabama wins, the conversation starts to become interesting.
Last year, the Tide lost to the then #1 ranked LSU Tigers. People thought it was over for the Tide, but they just slipped a few spots down. Then Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State. Even without going to their SEC Title game, Alabama was able to jump the Cowboys.
It was controversial, but the Tide pretty much made it clear that a playoff was needed. Which is why in 2013 we will indeed have one. Which is interesting too. Because Alabama right now, would be in the playoff. The Tide won against LSU, dominating the Tigers only allowing them past the 50 on offense one time. And on the same drive, drove them back behind the 50 as well.
Bama now, without a playoff has to rely on the losses of at least 3 undefeated teams. That being Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame.
Interestingly enough, all 3 still have some big match ups awaiting them. And it seems to be fate that one will fall at least. Many believe it to be Oregon.
Oregon has to face Stanford and then rival Oregon State. Both are still good teams, even without Luck on the side of the Cardinal, they are still having a relatively good season. Rival OSU is clearly not to be forgotten. Then you have the conference title game awaiting where they may again play USC.
It's clearly not an easy road for the every changing Ducks.
KSU is not out of the woods yet either, as they still have to get past Texas, who is improving and looking very good right now. But before that, they must take on Baylor. And even without RG3, they are still a team to keep an eye on. So, add that to a list of worries. Then a possible conference title game? Not easy for KSU.
Then we get to Notre Dame. Many are saying they're having a fairytale season that no one saw coming this early for Chip Kelly.
To me, they are a bit overrated and could be jumped in rankings because of it.
Alabama will stay at #4 until the SEC Title game, as they don't have any big hurtles to get over. Rival Auburn is it until the conference title game, and they are having one of their worst seasons in a decade.
This means that the SEC Title game, if Alabama wins, will be key. Because an extra top ranked match up will put them past the Catholic bunch in the polls. But that's even if they win all their games. They still have to take on USC, whose not an easy win. But before that, they take on Wake Forrest and I feel this could be the wake up game for them.
Due to being an Independent team, ND will forfeit the right to go to a Conference Title game because of the no conference affiliation in football. Thus we have a pickle for them. No CT game means that Bama facing a top 5 Georgia team will only make them jump over Notre Dame.
So, literally only Oregon or KSU have to lose. Because Alabama will in fact jump Notre Dame, even if undefeated due to the late Conference Title game.
If Bama loses however, ND will not be jumped by a one loss Georgia team.
But what do you think? Does Alabama have a shot to reach the National Title game, even with all the possible complications?