With just two games left in the regular season — and assuming Alabama beats Charleston Southern and Auburn — the Crimson Tide should have no issues making the College Football Playoff if they can also handle Florida in the SEC Championship.
No. 2. Alabama is in total control of the SEC West and will almost assuredly be the team playing Florida in the SEC championship.
Here’s who Crimson Tide fans should root for this weekend.
No. 1 Clemson vs. Wake Forest (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 2)
Root for: Wake Forest. Obviously. It’s almost 100 percent certain that a 3-7 Wake Forest team is not going to upset an undefeated Clemson team on the road, but every week Tide fans should be rooting for a Clemson loss. This past week, even with one loss on its record, Alabama was at least considered to assume Clemson’s top spot. A Clemson loss would almost certainly put Alabama ahead. And even if Clemson wins, if the game is close and the Tigers have a late-game scare like they did last weekend against Syracuse, that could help Alabama propel to the No. 1 spot. The committee has talked about strength of schedule, so if Clemson barely pulls one out over one of the ACC’s weakest teams, that could play to Alabama’s favor.
No. 9 Michigan State at No. 3 Ohio State (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Root for: Michigan State. Ohio State is still undefeated with a 10-0 record and is sitting in third place behind No. 2 Alabama. After losing to the Buckeyes last year in the Playoff, Alabama knows Ohio State is capable of beating the Crimson Tide. If Ohio State loses and potentially drops down a few slots, that makes it less likely the two would meet if the Crimson Tide stay at No. 2. If Clemson wins out, Alabama very well could be at No. 2 meaning it plays the No. 3 seed. If Ohio State drops to No. 4 or No. 5, the Crimson Tide won’t have to face the Buckeyes in the first round.
No. 5 Iowa vs. Purdue (Noon ET, ESPN 2)
Root for: Purdue. Not a lot of explanation needed here. Iowa is undefeated and is on the bubble sitting at No. 5 for the second straight week. Iowa is a scrappy team that has found a way to win every week. The Hawkeyes will be a force to be reckoned with if they make the Playoff.
No. 10 Baylor at No. 6 Oklahoma State (7:30 p.m., FOX)
Root for: Baylor. It’s possible the Big 12 is going to have to have an undefeated team if it’s going to have any representation in the Playoff. A Baylor win would snap Oklahoma State’s undefeated streak and likely take care of the Big 12.
No. 15 LSU at No. 22 Ole Miss (3:30 p.m. ET CBS)
Root for: Ole Miss. If LSU loses, then both the Tigers and the Rebels will have three losses for the season, meaning Alabama would have to lose out to match that. If LSU loses, Alabama would still have some cushion in the event that the Crimson Tide lost to Auburn.