Here’s a question that seemed unthinkable 24 hours ago: Should Alabama rest its starters for any part of the Iron Bowl?
It’s not a crazy idea. By improving to 10-0 with a blowout victory over Mississippi State on Saturday, the Crimson Tide have asserted themselves as the nation’s top team. They also clinched a berth in the SEC Championship Game, thanks to Georgia upsetting Auburn at Sanford Stadium.
A few national voices considered the possibility of Alabama resting its starters against Auburn:
Just realized, if Alabama wanted to, it could rest its starters in the second half of the Iron Bowl, win or lose, and still make playoff.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 13, 2016
I mean, why not? https://t.co/Nm61HIjbrt
— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) November 13, 2016
Alabama closes the regular season with Chattanooga next Saturday and Auburn on Nov. 26. Given all the upsets Saturday — Michigan, Clemson, Washington, Auburn and Texas A&M all lost — it’s easy to see the Crimson Tide clinching a College Football Playoff berth as long as they split their final two regular-season games and win the SEC championship.
Of course, it’s difficult to envision Alabama coach Nick Saban resting his starters in such a meaningful rivalry game. We’ll see how the situation unfolds.