Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide didn’t have a chance to play on Saturday and make their case for the College Football Playoff, so he had to do so with his words. There’s a strong case to be made for putting one-loss Alabama into the playoff, but one-loss Wisconsin will likely finish no higher than No. 7.
And while Ohio State won the Big Ten title, and while the Buckeyes now have wins over two teams in the top-10 of the most recent playoff rankings, Ohio State also has two losses. “You wouldn’t even be talking to me”, Saban said to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. While the AAC Championship Game had no impact on the playoff race, UCF’s 62-55 win over Memphis in double overtime was one of the best games of the season and will guarantee a New Year’s Six berth for the Knights. The SEC title game is underway at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and on CBS.
Meyer’s case for Ohio State mirrored the one he made previous year, even though the Buckeyes didn’t win the Big Ten. Three of those wins came over teams that will finish in the committee’s final top 25; two, Wisconsin and Penn State, will probably be in the top 10. Either way, Washington should run into a really good Big Ten team. Which team will the selection committee select and, perhaps more importantly, which one should they select? It’s just unbelievable how important this playoff is and how the whole world revolves around it. “We deserve a shot”. But it’s also tough to say that the committee shouldn’t take into account that the Bulldogs defeated Auburn in a conference championship game. “That’s the way I look at it”.
“We’ve always been in a position the last few years where we kind of knew where we were and all that”, Saban said.
Ohio State got in past year without winning the Big Ten and the league champion, Penn State, did not. Alabama’s best wins this season came against No. 17 LSU and No. 23 Mississippi State. Sankey said the SEC talks with the two selection committee members assigned to the conference about a number of topics related to the poll.
The Tide dropped outside the top four after their 26-14 Iron Bowl loss at Auburn, but only just outside at No. 5. While three teams are locked into the playoff, the decision over the fourth seed won’t sit well with fans in either Columbus or Tuscaloosa for a long time. “We have so much more to do”.
“The committee has a hard challenge come Sunday, and hopefully we’ve made it clear enough as they engage in their work”, Sankey said. That’s all you’ve got to say. Per ESPN’s FPI, the Badgers didn’t win a single game against a top-20 team. On Saturday, the Buckeyes knocked out previously undefeated Wisconsin to set up a committee conundrum.
Did you know Ohio State’s athletic director, Gene Smith, is on the committee? I’d be saying the same thing about the Tide had they been dominated by the likes of Ole Miss or Texas A&M.