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Alabama close to controlling its own destiny despite loss to LSU

No matter for Alabama that that it finds itself trailing Georgia at No. 5 in the second weekly College Football Playoff rankings. The No. 4 spot currently occupied by the Bulldogs may be the all-important position, but not until Dec. 8. Right now what matters for the Crimson Tide is that they are fifth, ahead of fellow one-loss teams Oregon, Utah, Penn State, and Oklahoma in addition to undefeated Minnesota.

After all, either Georgia or top-ranked LSU is guaranteed to lose at least once more in the SEC Championship (or they could lose twice more and not even make it to the conference title game; an unlikely scenario for both, to be sure). A second loss by the Dawgs would obviously send them tumbling far below Alabama in the rankings, assuming the Tide win out at the expense of Mississippi State, Western Carolina, and Auburn. Check out our college football predictions for ‘Bama vs. MSU and other games this weekend. Just a single loss by LSU? Well, that could cause controversy.

If the favorites win out

To root for chaos or root for order? That is the question. Order would entail LSU sweeping the regular season—taking care of Ole Miss and Arkansas—before beating Georgia in the SEC Championship. It would also consist of Ohio State going undefeated and winning the Big Ten and Clemson going undefeated and winning the ACC. Assuming Alabama also defeats Auburn (plus Mississippi State and Western Carolina, of course), that would leave a final four of LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama. Needless to say, it is possible if not even probable that two SEC teams will make the College Football Playoff.

Chaos theory

It also goes without saying that chaos is quite possible. If Georgia wins out with an upset of LSU on the SEC Championship, the Tigers finish with only that one loss, and both Ohio State and Clemson remain perfect, the locks would be Clemson, OSU, and UGA. LSU and ‘Bama would both have one loss, with the Tigers obviously holding the head-to-head edge. It would probably take an absolute beatdown in Georgia’s favor in the SEC title tilt in order for the committee to knock the one-loss Tigers below the one-loss Tide.

Of course, Clemson and Ohio State also have some chance of falling. It would require a major stunner for the defending champions to go down, but the Buckeyes still have dates with Penn State (at home) and Michigan (on the road). Should one or both lose, a one-loss Pac-12 champion (either Oregon or Utah) would be waiting eagerly in the wings. And don’t forget about one-loss Penn State, one-loss Oklahoma, and undefeated Minnesota. Yes, things could definitely get crazy….

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