Why Nick Saban’s case for Alabama’s inclusion in the 2022 football field is flawed

From the moment Kansas State kicker Ty Zentner’s 31-yard field goal sailed through the uprights to give the Wildcats the Big 12 title and give TCU their first loss of the season, all eyes turned toward Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At that moment, the Crimson Tide’s #6 player’s hopes of making the College Football Playoff were high. With losing Alabama forced into the debate, Nick Saban began to push for his team to be considered last in the field, until Join the broadcast crew during the first half of the Big Ten Championship game to show his team’s status.

But some flaws in Saban’s arguments were evident. So let’s break down some of the factors preventing Alabama from joining the four-team College Football Playoff in regards to Saban’s arguments.

It doesn’t have a quality beat

“We lost two games, on the road in a tough league, to top 10 teams – one team in the top five last game of the game.”

Alabama’s best win was its one-point win over No. 20 Texas in Week 2, and that win included 15 passable penalties, plenty of fouls and an inability to move the ball on a consistent basis despite having Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young – who was healthy at that Time – taking snapshots. Another quality win? The only other ranked win is a 30-6 decision over No. 24 Mississippi State. Let’s be real, if we’re talking about the win over Mississippi State being one of the team’s defining wins, that speaks to how easy this trip was.

The committee isn’t talking about “controlling the game,” and Alabama didn’t exactly shine in that area either. A very mediocre Texas A&M team had a chance in the end zone to cause a potential upset in Tuscaloosa as time expired, and Ole Miss had a similar chance to tie the game — and win by an extra point — in Oxford, Mississippi. Let’s not forget the Arkansas game which, despite a 49-26 final game, was much closer than the score indicated. CFP’s Alabama issue centers around quality losses to No. 7 Tennessee and No. 14 LSU. If the team’s primary argument is its losses, that says a lot.

Other teams have better cases

“We shouldn’t just be looking at one-loss, two-loss metrics. Who are the best teams?”

TCU lost in overtime to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game in what was the Horned Frogs’ first loss of the season. What makes her state unique is that she has already beaten every team on the schedule — including the same Kansas State team in the regular season. Essentially, they played their way to an opportunity to lose in a rematch. TCU’s quality wins include a win over Kansas State and a seven-point win over Texas in Austin, Texas—a similar result to a one-point win at Alabama in the same building. Oh, and there is the obvious fact that one losing team has less to lose than the losing team, but those are just basic arithmetic.

Ohio State has a much better case on top of the same very complex math above. The Buckeyes’ signature win is a 44-31 win at No. 8 Penn State, which the committee clearly loves. It also has that 11-point win over 21st-ranked Notre Dame, a team that will likely find itself in the top 20 in the final standings on Sunday. The 45-23 loss at home to Michigan last week certainly wasn’t great, but the Wolverines are second best in the country. If we’re judging by losses, one loss to the second-ranked team in the nation is still better than two to Tennessee and an LSU team that might crash out of the top 20 after a 50-30 thrashing at the hands of Georgia on Saturday in the SEC Championship.

In fact, Tennessee has a better case than Alabama. Aside from an apparent showdown win over the Crimson Tide, the Volunteers stomped LSU 40-13 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the same place where Alabama lost to the same Tigers.

Vegas odds don’t matter

“If we play any of these teams that are about to go in, will we be the underdog? Or will we be the favourites?”

Saban lobbied for his team using gambling odds. seriously? We’re going to use gambling odds to try to make a case? Game lines are used to make money for the odds makers, which means they are trying to get similar money on both sides. Yes, Alabama is somewhat of a favorite because – breaking news here – it’s a very good team. But the Alabama brand name is also important to people who are involved in investing.

Plus, it’s worth noting that Alabama is a 3-5-1 spread against Power Five competitors this year, so you can’t trust the Crimson Tide to match the buzz in Vegas already.

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