For Alabama Fans, It’s a Great Morning After
By Larry Burton
For Alabama fans, surveying the landscape after Saturday’s games makes this a great morning after. Though in reality, after the Ole Miss loss, Alabama had a great shot to make the playoffs by simply winning out, this weekend’s results increases their odds exponentially.
Now Alabama has not only a better path to the championship round, but a much clearer path to the SEC Championship Game which will absolutely insure that appearance.
The only sure way for Alabama to make it to the conference championship game in Atlanta was for Ole Miss to lose twice in conference play and Alabama win out. With Ole Miss carrying one loss into the Mississippi State game, the chances of the Rebels leaving that game with two losses seem very likely now. Those two losses are what Alabama will need to make the SEC Championship Game a reality due to the tie breaking rules.
That is, provided of course, that they beat Mississippi State themselves and as of right now, that is certainly not a given. Neither is a win against Auburn or LSU, but now the path has become much easier by simply winning out.
Then of course, they have to get by a Georgia team that will have Todd Gurley back in action. By winning out, Alabama will reach a championship game by beating more top ten teams than ever before in their history. By winning out, Alabama will have played more teams in the top ten than most of the other teams in the championship series combined.
But again, none of that happens if Alabama doesn’t win out. No matter how many top ten teams Alabama takes down, a two loss Alabama team is still a hard case to make over a one loss conference champion. This is why Saban, like any good coach, has his team focused on only the next opponent and not counting chickens at this point of the season.
Though Alabama has Mississippi State and Auburn at home, they have to play LSU in Death Valley and you can ask Ole Miss how that can play out. Les Miles has his Tigers playing with more confidence all the time and in another two weeks, they could be even more dangerous.
But at least for the next week or so, Alabama fans can dream of what can be. They are now sitting in the proverbial catbird’s seat and all they have to do is simply win out. The only problem is, there’s nothing simple about that.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter