Analyst: Tennessee & Ohio State Have Better College Football Playoff Case Than Alabama

Getty CBS Sports' Barrett Sallee believes both Tennessee and Ohio State have a better case tp make the College Football Playoff than Alabama.

The Alabama Crimson Tide took care of business on November 26 in the Iron Bowl, knocking off Auburn 49-27 to finish the regular season 10-2, the 12th consecutive regular season that Alabama finished with double-digit wins. But for only the second time since its 2014 inception, Alabama could miss the four-team College Football Playoff.

CBS Sports analyst Barrett Sallee said that even if USC (11-1), which has a chance to take the final spot in the College Football Playoff as a one-loss Power Five conference winner, were to lose to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship, Alabama wouldn’t be deserving of the fourth playoff spot. Instead, he said he would slot in Tennessee or Ohio State behind the three undefeated teams — Georgia, Michigan and TCU.

“If USC loses this weekend, Ohio State should get in to the CFP,” Sallee tweeted on November 28. “After that, the pecking order should be Tennessee followed by Alabama.”

If that scenario plays out, the Crimson Tide likely would have to settle for a New Year’s Six bowl instead, which they missed out on in 2019, when they went to the Citrus Bowl.

Nick Saban Said Alabama Should Make College Football Playoff

When it comes to who should be included in the College Football Playoff, Nick Saban’s opinion goes against the vast majority of college football observers. He said he felt that Alabama had done enough to be included in the final four teams eligible to win the national championship.

“I don’t make those decisions, but I know what a resilient football team this has been,” Saban told ESPN following Alabama’s win over Auburn. “We’ve lost two games to top-10 opponents, both on the last play of the game and both on the road. We could have easily won both games but didn’t. We’re a good football team, and hopefully people will recognize that and we’ll get a chance.”

He stated his case again during the Iron Bowl postgame press conference.

“We’ve had a lot of close games, didn’t always play our best in those games, but did enough to get to 10 wins and hung in there as a team,” Saban said. “I guess we will see what happens now.”

Paul Finebaum Said Alabama Doesn’t Own a Quality Win

Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network said he believed that Ohio State’s ranking ahead of Alabama in the Week 13 AP Poll is a sign that the College Football Playoff Committee will fit them in at the No. 4 postseason spot should USC and/or TCU lose their conference championship game on December 2 and December 3, respectively.

He also said Alabama lacks a top win that defines their season and gives them a chance to sneak into the CFP, answering as much when asked by ESPN’s “Get Up” reporter Heather Dinich what the Tide’s best win.

“How about nobody,” he said during the November 28 episode of ESPN’s “Get Up.” “They won at Texas on the second week of the season when the Texas starting quarterback was out for the final three quarters and they barely won a last-second field goal. Their other big win was against Ole Miss, which crashed and burned down the stretch. I don’t think either has more than 8 wins and that’s what’s going to keep Alabama out despite the name, and despite Nick Saban.”