If the one-loss Crimson Tide win out, they’ll likely be going to the College Football Playoff.
‘Bama is currently ranked No. 7 by the AP Top 25. Two of the teams in front of it will lose at least once by the end of the year (Ohio State/Michigan State and Baylor/TCU) while LSU comes to town next week.
Knowing this, Alabama fans need not stress too much about games not involving the Tide. But there are still plenty of schools to root for. Here’s a breakdown:
No. 19 Ole Miss at Auburn (12 pm ET, ESPN)
Alabama fans should root for: Auburn. While a higher ranking for Ole Miss (Alabama’s only loss) is preferable, the Rebels still hold the West tiebreaker over the Tide. So, ‘Bama fans should make a rare exception to pull for the rival Tigers this weekend.
No. 3 Clemson at North Carolina State (3:30 pm ET, ABC)
Alabama fans should root for: N.C. State. Clemson will be a major player in the final Playoff ranking. It’s best to knock them a peg below the Tide, if possible.
Georgia vs. No. 11 Florida (3:30 pm ET, CBS)
Alabama fans should root for: Georgia. It’s unlikely, but if Florida runs the table and beats Ole Miss in the SEC Championship Game (while ‘Bama sits at home), the Gators would hop the Tide in the Playoff ranking. A loss to UGA means game over for Florida’s title hopes. Oh, and a ranked Bulldogs team would be good for Alabama’s resumé.
Maryland at No. 10 Iowa (3:30 pm ET, ABC)
Alabama fans should root for: Maryland. All the Big 10 talk is about Ohio State and Michigan State at this point, but Iowa is still undefeated, and would be a Playoff lock if they get past OSU, MSU or Michigan in the B1G Championship Game without a tally in the “L” column.
Tulane at No. 16 Memphis (7 pm ET, CBS Sports Network)
Alabama fans should root for: Tulane. There’s still a weird scenario in play where two-loss Ole Miss wins the SEC Championship, one-loss Alabama watches from home and undefeated Memphis (which beat Ole Miss) is in or around the top of the Playoff ranking.
It’s best to avoid this, and the simplest way to do so is A) an Ole Miss loss or B) a Memphis loss. The former is more likely, but never underestimate the Green Wave!
No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 21 Temple (8 pm ET, ABC)
Alabama fans should root for: Temple. Notre Dame is a big threat to clog up the Playoff picture. The Irish only have one real test (No. 8 Stanford) before the final ranking.
No. 8 Stanford at Washington State (10:30 pm ET, ESPN)
Alabama fans should root for: Washington State. Either Notre Dame or Stanford will fall out of the Playoff picture on Nov. 28. But ‘Bama fans can breathe easier if the Cardinal don’t survive Pullman on Saturday night.