"If you lose early in college football, it's OK", Saban said.
Still, many in the media believe Ohio State should get in the playoffs over Alabama because of being a conference champion and because of its wins over No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 9 Penn State. The previous worst: 2016 No. 4 Washington's 6-1.
If the committee considers Alabama and Ohio State to be "comparable" - a subjective determination in an already ambiguous system - then CFP protocol requires it to lean on criteria that include conference championships, strength of schedule, common opponents and head-to-head competition. With Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia seemingly securing playoff spots with conference title wins on Saturday, the fourth spot comes down to a pair of blueblood programs and their legendary coaches, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.
The final rankings are only five days away, and after several boring championship weekends, we finally have an exciting slate of games featuring teams with everything on the line. With No. 1 Clemson, No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 6 Georgia (for now) expected to be three of the four teams, the final spot is likely to come down to Alabama or Ohio State. Let's look at each team's résumé. Since they also have wins against #9 Penn State and #16 Michigan State, their resume looks like one of a playoff contender. Which team will the selection committee select and, perhaps more importantly, which one should they select? Their embarrassment at Iowa continues to be a large enough blemish no concealer can fully cover up. There's a strong case to be made for putting one-loss Alabama into the playoff, but one-loss Wisconsin will likely finish no higher than No. 7.
If FSU wins, add another bowl-eligible team to Alabama's playoff profile. Alabama's best wins are against LSU, Mississippi State and Fresno State. Auburn surged all the way to No. 2 after beating Georgia and Alabama in a three-week span. Bama lost on the road to Auburn, a bitter conference rival, who is undoubtedly a top ten team. "Whenever you go challenge yourself, over time, you won't win as many as when you don't challenge yourselves".
AAC championship: In one of the wildest FBS conference championship games ever, No. 12 Central Florida captured the American Athletic Conference title with a 62-55 victory over No. 16 Memphis in double overtime in Orlando. The loss was Alabama's first and only loss of the season, but it also took the Crimson Tide out of the SEC Championship Game. However, there are significant differences.