Alabama is clearly a College Football Playoff committee darling, but the Crimson Tide have not been seriously considered for the No. 1 spot over undefeated Clemson.
CFP chairman Jeff Long said as much in a teleconference Tuesday night.
“Clemson was solidly in that No. 1 spot,” Long said, “and there was no real indication that Alabama was going to challenge them for that No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings.”
He and the rest of the voters have been Tide supporters for awhile, though. Alabama (10-1) surprisingly took the No. 4 spot in the season’s first rankings last month, and then shot up to No. 2 after beating LSU on Nov. 7.
But there’s plenty of competition near the top. Another one-loss team — Oklahoma — moved in behind ‘Bama at the No. 3 spot this week.
“(Alabama’s) strength of schedule, depending on how you look at it, is in the Top 10 for sure,” Long said. “So that’s a strong schedule and like Oklahoma, they’ve performed very well since that loss to Ole Miss.”
The Crimson Tide appear to control their own destiny at this point. If Nick Saban’s team can win the Iron Bowl this Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm ET, CBS) and then dispose of No. 12 Florida in the SEC Championship the following week, Alabama will likely be handed a high Playoff seed.