Alabama’s 26-14 loss to Auburn on Saturday changes the postseason landscape considerably for the Crimson Tide. Alabama definitely needs some help to make the College Footabll Playoff on championship weekend. Here’s where Alabama could end up otherwise.

ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura has Alabama playing in the Orange Bowl against Miami. David Hale projects Alabama to play TCU in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Among four ESPN analysts, none projected Alabama to make the playoff.

Sports Illustrated’s Eric Single has Alabama playing against Miami in Miami, playing in the Orange Bowl.

CBS Sports also has Alabama going to the Orange Bowl in to play against the Miami Hurricanes.

Sporting News’ Bill Bender has Alabama playing against Miami in the Orange Bowl as well.

Bleacher Report projects Alabama to play against Penn State in the Peach Bowl. That would be back-to-back trips to Atlanta for Alabama, which played there in its semifinal win over Washington. That’s a little bit unusual.

SBNation does have Alabama in the playoff as the No. 4 seed against Clemson, playing in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Jason Kirk’s projection also includes some scenarios in which Alabama could make the playoff to explain how the Crimson Tide made the field of four.

FiveThirtyEight, an ESPN site built around statistics and analytics, narrowly has Alabama as the fourth most likely team to make the playoff, at 48%.

FiveThirtyEight doesn’t do bowl projections but you can play with their table and see what scenarios would help Alabama make the playoff. Some takeaways:

Miami/Clemson and Auburn/Georgia all seem to control their own destiny. Win the ACC or the SEC and they’re in.

Oklahoma and Wisconsin seem to control their destinies entering their conference championship games as well. An Ohio State win moves the Buckeyes’ chances of making the playoff to 60%, though Alabama’s odds also increase to 53%.

Oklahoma controls its own destiny, with a win putting the Sooners in. TCU upsetting the Sooners reduces Oklahoma’s chances of making the field to 12% and only increases TCU’s odds to 17%, while Alabama’s odds jump to 62% (second-most, with no other outcomes chosen).

The highest percentage I could get Alabama to while playing with the table was 68%, with the following needing to happen:

  • Clemson wins the ACC championship.
  • Georgia wins the SEC championship.
  • TCU wins the Big 12 championship.
  • Ohio State wins the Big 10 championship.
  • Stanford beats USC for the Pac-12 championship.
  • Boise State beats Fresno State for the MWC championship.
  • Florida State beats Louisiana-Monroe in its final game of the regular season.
  • Memphis beats UCF for the American championship.

Most of those projections probably do something to the strength of schedule and resume of other teams in the field that has a trickle down effect for Alabama.

UPDATE: @HunterLJohnson on Twitter found a scenario that gets Alabama to 69%. It’s a total chaos scenario that has Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin all losing their conference championship games.

I fiddled around with that scenario some more and got Alabama up to 72%. Here’s what that looks like:

  • TCU wins the Big 12 championship.
  • Ohio State wins the Big 10 championship.
  • Miami wins the ACC championship.
  • Georgia wins the SEC championship.
  • Stanford wins the Pac-12.
  • Memphis wins the AAC.
  • Fresno State wins the MWC.

If you can get Alabama above 72%, let me know how you did it in an email to ben@tidesports.com and I’ll update this.

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