There are 12 teams across the country that can still make the College Football Playoff, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm says. Three are in the SEC. And two play each other on Saturday.
Alabama and Texas A&M both enter their showdown Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium undefeated and ranked inside the top six. Palm likes the Aggies even more than AP voters; he put them fourth in his rankings of the 12 remaining teams with playoff hopes (but the Crimson Tide aren’t No. 1).
Surely this weekend’s slate of games will shake up the playoff picture.
“If the Aggies can get by Alabama, it’s relatively smooth sailing to the SEC Championship Game,” Palm writes. “That’s the biggest ‘if’ in college football, though.”
It’s not such smooth sailing for the final of the three SEC teams still in the playoff hunt, though, according to Palm. He squeezed the Florida Gators into the final spot on his list. But he didn’t do so with much faith.
“The Gators would have to win out against a schedule that includes road games against LSU, Arkansas, Florida State and an SEC Championship Game, likely against Alabama,” Palm writes. “Good luck with that.”
The most likely scenario is that the winner of the Alabama-Texas A&M game goes on to make the College Football Playoff as the SEC’s lone representative. It remains unlikely the conference qualifies two teams without outside circumstances, as our Alec Shirkey wrote last week. As Palm notes, a loss to Texas A&M doesn’t necessarily eliminate Alabama.