The Alabama Crimson Tide needs help to make the College Football Playoff after losing at Auburn last weekend. How much help is conjecture, but with UA sitting on the sideline while other contenders play in high-profile conference championship games some upsets at the top would be needed to make room for Alabama to garner a fourth consecutive trip to the four-team national championship event.

Here is a primer on where the Crimson Tide stands heading into this weekend’s unveiling of the championship field. You can also review the case against Alabama and where the Crimson Tide might end up if it doesn’t make the playoff here.

The Announcement

College Football Playoff Selection Show
Sunday at 11 a.m. CT, ESPN

The Games


Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1 in New Orleans
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.


Jan. 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

The Case for Alabama

  • 11-1 record
  • Three victories over teams in the final CFP Top 25 rankings released after regular season:
    • No. 17 LSU, 24-10 in Tuscaloosa
    • No. 23 Mississippi State, 31-24 in Starkville, Miss.
    • No. 25 Fresno State, 41-10 in Tuscaloosa
  • Five wins over teams with winning records:
    • LSU (9-3)
    • Fresno State (9-3)
    • Mississippi State (8-4)
    • Texas A&M (7-5)
    • Colorado State (7-5)
  • Possibly two wins over other bowl-eligible teams:
    • Ole Miss (6-6, banned from postseason play)
    • Florida State (currently 5-6 with Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday)
  • Only defeat came at Auburn against a team that was No. 6 at the time in the CFP rankings

The Criteria

According to the College Football Playoff Media Guide, “The selection committee ranks the teams based on the members’ evaluation of the teams’ performance on the field, using conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, and comparison of results against common opponents to decide among teams that are comparable.”