Did Alabama hurt its College Football Playoff chances with Iron Bowl win?

Alabama v Auburn
Alabama v Auburn / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Alabama Crimson Tide were more than two touchdown favorites in the Iron Bowl, which was to be expected. Nick Saban's team entered the game at 10-1 and unbeaten in SEC play while Auburn had struggled at just 6-5 in Hugh Freeze's first year with the Tigers. But in the Iron Bowl, anything can happen.

Such was the case on Saturday at Jordan-Hare. Auburn looked to have the game locked up when a botched play with under a minute left set Alabama up for fourth-and-goal from the 31-yard line. But Jalen Milroe then completed an unreal touchdown throw to Isaiah Bond to take the lead. A pick-six as time expired gave the Tide a 33-24 win.

However, the last-second miracle for Alabama might not actually be what's best for the Tide, particularly looking at their College Football Playoff chances.

Alabama's Iron Bowl win may actually hurt its College Football Playoff chances

Alabama already had a tough road ahead to make the Playoff. They were ranked No. 8 in the CFP rankings for Rivalry Week, situated behind other one-loss possible conference champions like Oregon and Texas, the latter of which beat Bama earlier in the regular season in Tuscaloosa.

Thus, they would need a ton of help to crack the Top 4. Unless Texas loses the Big 12 Championship Game, the Longhorns will have a leg up on them, as would any undefeated conference champion as well.

Of course, the Crimson Tide aren't dead in the CFP race. If they were to upset Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, that would be a huge boost for Alabama's resumé. Moreover, their one loss is likely to have come against another Power 5 champion. That's an impressive record to put before the Selection Committee.

Having said that, Alabama's Playoff chances might actually take a hit thanks to nearly getting upset by Auburn. With the CFP race this tight, it could come down to splitting hairs. When doing so, a narrow win over a team that finishes 6-6, even in a rivalry game on the road, could be a difference-maker -- especially with having sleepwalked against other opponents earlier in the year as well.

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