Alabama Football moved up to 6th in the College Football Playoffs rankings released Tuesday, up one spot from last week’s Crimson Tide (10-2).
Tuesday marked the penultimate standings before Sunday’s final reveal will determine which teams will make up the four-team field to compete for a national championship. Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC occupy the top four spots en route to conference championship weekend. The state of Ohio is number 5.
The Bulldogs (12-0) take on the LSU (9-3) in Saturday’s (3pm CT, CBS) SEC championship game. Michigan (12-0) will take on Purdue (8-4) for the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday (7 p.m. Fox). TCU (12-0) takes on Kansas State (9-3) in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game (11 a.m., ABC). USC (11-1) meets Utah (9-3) in Friday’s (7 p.m., Fox) Pac-12 championship game.
The Buckeyes with one loss ahead of Alabama with two losses bodes ill for the Crimson Tide making the playoff as neither Ohio State nor Alabama will play again before the final pick.
Even if USC slips up in the Pac-12 championship, Ohio State still has a turn to be the next team.
CFP Chairman Boo Corrigan was asked multiple times Tuesday night about the potential for Alabama and Ohio State, or any team that’s finished playing, to move up the final rankings.
ESPN’s Reece Davis asked him:
“Your job is done,” Davis said. “For the teams that have already played, nothing could really change when it comes to the clash, could it?”
“Right,” Corrigan said. “Right.”
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“After this week we’re going to look at Ohio State and the wins they have over (No. 21) Notre Dame and (No. 8) Penn State,” Corrigan later said. “They look at Alabama and their big wins are over (No. 20) Texas and (No. 24) Mississippi State. They have a couple of games where they also played two close defeats. Again, in the minds of the committee, we came back to Ohio State at five and Alabama at six.”
Then on the conference call with reporters afterwards, Carrigan had a different answer.
A reporter asked if Corrigan actually said Ohio State and Alabama would not switch places and stay where they are.
“No, I didn’t,” Corrigan said.
Despite Corrigan’s mixed responses, it’s hard to imagine the committee moving Alabama ahead of Ohio State next week since neither will play.
Even if Purdue were to beat Michigan, the selection show shouldn’t change the value of Ohio State’s wins over Penn State and Notre Dame.
Georgia, Michigan and TCU are virtual locks to make the CFP. The Horned Frogs meet No. 10 Kansas State in the conference title game after beating the Wildcats in the regular season, and they also won at No. 20 Texas.
The Sugar Bowl looks like the likely target for the Crimson Tide since the top-ranked SEC team isn’t in the playoffs. LSU’s No. 14 could jump to the Sugar Bowl spot with a win in Alabama’s SEC title game. Tennessee, No. 7, is one spot behind Alabama in the rankings despite claiming the straight win.
This article originally appeared in the Tuscaloosa News: Alabama Football: What the Latest CFP Rankings Mean for Nick Saban’s Team