Alabama or the Field? The Biggest Threats to the Crimson Tide

Since what feels like the beginning of time, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are sitting at #1 in all of the rankings across the College Football world. Just a ho-hum, typical undefeated start for the Crimson Tide and once again are the lone undefeated team in a rather top-heavy SEC, and currently 6-5 odds to take the title. Alabama has made every CFP since the new postseason format came into play three seasons ago, winning the 2015-2016 Championship over Clemson, the only team that has achieved that, but have found trouble when the best competition is in their path. Who’s got the best chance of tripping up the *Verne Lundquist voice* mighty Crimson Tide?

4. Ohio State Buckeyes- # 7 in CFP Rankings, 20-1 Odds to win National Title

urban meyer

Yeah, the Buckeyes are on the outside looking in to the playoffs at the moment. Doesn’t matter, the season doesn’t end today and the Buckeyes absolutely have the firepower to run the table and get themselves into the playoffs. With games coming against a sorry Illinois team at home, and “The Game” in Ann Arbor, that seem like wins for the Buckeyes, they would just need to take down undefeated, but untested, Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game, and they can work their way in to the playoff.

Why the Buckeyes:  They are the fifth ranked scoring offense in the country, and have, playmakers and the experienced QB that Alabama rarely sees with the lackluster QB  play in the SEC. Also Urban Meyer is 2-2 against Nick Saban in his career, including the upset in the inagural College Football Playoff where Ezekiel Elliott ran for 725 yards (per Elias).

3. Georgia Bulldogs- Former #1 in CFP Rankings, Currently #7, 14-1 Odds to win National Title

nick chubb

Was the showing at Auburn great for the former #1 team in the country? Some would say no. I also would say no because it took them out of the race for an undefeated season, but that game was not a *must win*. The Bulldogs have a two game lead over an average South Carolina team in the SEC East, with only games against Kentucky and Georgia Tech remaining before the SEC Title game, which coincidentally is in Atlanta.

Why Georgia: Despite the slip up at Auburn, Georgia still has been the second most impressive team in the SEC. They are physical and extremely fast on both sides of the ball, have the 10th ranked rushing team in the country with the excellent backfield of Nick Chubb and 18th year senior Sony Michel, and their defense is fifth in the country in points allowed per game at less than 15. If slowing the game down and dominating time of possession is what it takes to take down the Crimson Tide, that’s how Georgia will go at them.

2. Clemson Tigers- #2 in CFP Rankings, Defending National Champions, 5-1 Odds to win National Title

dabo.jpg

The Tigers got their bad loss out of the way early on in the season when they lost in the Carrier Dome to a pretty average at best Syracuse team. They have taken care of business as usual ever since though, and have two regular season games remaining against the always overpowering Citadel Bulldogs and South Carolina. Biggest issue for Clemson is ACC Title Game against the U who has got their ole swagger back, but win that game and Clemson could have a date with Alabama for a third time in the National Title.

Why the Tigers: Clemson is currently ranked as the seventh best defense in the country in terms of points allowed per game. Dabo Sweeney also knows how to gameplan for the Crimson Tide, since these two teams have met in the National Championship the past two seasons, splitting those games. If Kelly Bryant can change the game with his feet and his arm, you can very well be looking at back to back titles for Clemson.

  1. Auburn Tigers- #6 in CFP Rankings, 7-1 Odds to win National Title

As the old saying goes, theres no love lost between these two teams. Also, “you can throw the records out” when these teams get together. All the cliches sayings in the book, you can use them for this game. Auburn is hot, coming off their biggest win of the season in a route of formerly #1 Georgia, and their offense is starting to find a groove.

Why these Tigers: There is nothing scarier in College Football than a hot underdog at home, and thats exactly what Alabama will be facing when they go to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Iron Bowl on November 25th. Jarrett Stidham is evolving into a certified problem and the Auburn defense is FAST. The Tigers want more than anything to spoil the Alabama perfect season, and they would love to play their way into the playoff.

Theres a lot of things left to be determined and nobody is already packing their bags for the CFP, but Auburn has had this game circled on their schedule since the beginning of the year, a win there would get them the SEC Championship berth against presumably Georgia. This is going to be fun.

Bonus Free Pick of the Weekend

Ohio State -41.0 over Illinois

Illinois has dropped EIGHT straight, Ohio State wants another statement blowout win at home, dont even see why the Illini would dress for this one.

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