Alabama making the College Football Playoff would actually be unprecedented

With only two more weeks in the regular season, it seems like the Tide would have to make a leap that hasn't been done before if they want to make the playoff

Auburn v Alabama
Auburn v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The College Football Playoff rankings ahead of rivalry week, the final week of the regular season, were revealed on Tuesday night. For yet another week, the Alabama Crimson Tide were ranked No. 8, directly behind a Texas Longhorns team that beat them back in September.

And yet, all indications are that Nick Saban's team is still alive for a Playoff berth. Having clinched a berth in the SEC Championship Game already, a win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl and upsetting Georgia would seemingly give Alabama a major boost, perhaps into the Top 4.

However, Alabama making the College Football Playoff after being ranked No. 8 this week would require the Crimson Tide making history.

Brett McMurphy of the Action Network noted after the release of the rankings that no team ranked lower than No. 7 in the Week 13 CFP rankings.

In fact, a team ranked No. 7 has only made it into the Playoff twice since the format's inception in 2014, which came first with Georgia in 2017 and then again in 2019 with Oklahoma.

Alabama would make history getting into College Football Playoff

The Crimson Tide struggled early in the season, trying to establish an offensive idenity with first-year starting quarterback Jalen Milroe and new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Even beyond the loss to Texas, there were several other questionable showings.

But Alabama has consistently shown improvement throughout the season, staying undefeated in SEC play to set up the date in Atlanta with Georgia. However, their path to the Playoff is not totally in their hands, even if winning the next two games would provide a massive rocket beneath them.

Even if Alabama was able to beat Auburn and then top Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, the Tide would not control their own destiny when it comes to the Playoff. If Texas were able to win out against Texas Tech and then in the Big 12 Championship Game, then the Longhorns would have the head-to-head win, which could be a trump card in the Selection Committee's eyes.

On top of that, any undefeated conference champion would likely have an edge over Alabama as well. As of now, assuming the Tide beat Georgia, that would possibly include Michigan or Ohio State in the Big Ten, Florida State in the ACC, and Washington in the Pac-12. Additionally, Oregon is ranked ahead of Alabama now and, if they were to upset Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game and finish 12-1, they may have the edge over the Crimson Tide too.

When you start to break it down, you recognize why being at No. 8 makes it unlikely (or, by history, impossible) for Alabama to get into the Playoff. But as they say, it's only impossible until it happens.

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