Alabama (un)officially clinches a College Football Playoff spot with win over Auburn
Saturday's matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers turned into an absolute dud.
After Gus Malzahn's club was able to keep things close early ('Bama held just a 13-9 lead at halftime), the Tigers pulled away late, cruising to a 30-12 victory. The game was so out of hand, CBS' announcers spent most of the second half talking about both next week's SEC title game and the College Football Playoff picture.
But while the game was another Alabama snoozer, don't call it insignificant. With the win, Alabama (un)officially clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff. Short of the entire team coming down with typhoid fever, there is no way Alabama will be left out of the playoff, regardless of what happens next week in the SEC title game. The Crimson Tide will – for the third year in a row – be in College Football's final four.
Even if they lost to Florida in the conference championship, it would be Alabama's only loss on the season, which is less than the would-be SEC champ (Florida), and the yet-to-be-determined champions of the Big Ten (Penn State or Wisconsin) and Big 12 (Oklahoma or Oklahoma State).
The Tide's resume – with wins over USC, Tennessee and Auburn – would probably be more impressive than Clemson and Washington's, which could also be one-loss teams, with conference titles under their belts. Ohio State is the only other team that would have one loss.
It's a long-winded way of saying that Alabama has clinched their spot in the College Football Playoff. Even with the Tide were to falter next week, there aren't even close to four teams (let alone two or three) whose overall body of work would be more impressive than Alabama's.
We doubt that matters to Nick Saban and we know he will have Alabama ready for next Saturday's SEC title game against Florida.