For those Tide fans wanting any sliver of hope, there is this: Alabama is outside the top four for the first time since November 28, 2017, when it also was No. 5.
Penn State is the third-highest Big Ten team in the rankings behind No. 2 Ohio State and No. 8 Minnesota, which jumped up nine spots following its victory over the Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon.
Under the assumption that Alabama's best-case scenario in the SEC plays out, we're looking at two one-loss conference champs in OR and Oklahoma against one-loss Alabama and one-loss Minnesota, neither of which have a conference title. "Obviously, Baylor has some great wins, they've certainly figured out how to win in close games".
The second CFP rankings were released on Tuesday night, and Texas is in.
OR has one win over a ranked team in then-No. A three-loss Oklahoma State stayed ranked after a bye week. There are several sources for strength of schedule, including various computer components. Versus Penn State, it took a handsome Brandon Smith catch late in the game to snap Iowa's touchdown-scoreless streak, and the Hawkeye's offense couldn't do anything for the first 43 minutes of the game against Wisconsin.
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Alabama does not play Oklahoma, Oregon or Minnesota in the regular season. "I've shared about Minnesota, obviously".
Again, assuming LSU wins out, Alabama's loss to the Tigers prevents the Crimson Tide from winning the SEC West, and, therefore, from playing in the SEC title game. My guess is that a one-loss conference champion - with its only loss to Auburn on a neutral field to start the season - would trump Alabama. So no SEC championship for them.
While Auburn remains on the outside looking in, the Tigers are still very relevant to the CFP picture, with two of their final three games coming against teams ranked ahead of them. Ohio State fell to No. 2.
So to recap, if the remaining playoff contenders win out and Alabama has to make its case for getting the fourth playoff spot, it doesn't have a particularly strong argument. Four other teams from the Group of Five are ranked below the Bearcats. The downward movement was largely a result of Minnesota's win against Penn State, with the undefeated Gophers jumping from 17th all the way to eighth. The Bears are No. 13 but will have a chance to prove themselves when they host No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday.