NCAA Football The Tide suffered its first defeat and puts at risk its run of appearances in the Playoff
El Tide lost 46-41 to LSU on Saturday at home, cutting the streak of 31 games without knowing defeat at Bryant-Denny Stadium and leaving your options to return to the Playoff in intensive care; They are not eliminated, but they need help.
First, we must understand the structure of the Crimson Tide conference, the SEC. There are 14 teams divided into two divisions, and the team with the best mark of each considering only the divisional matches, reaches the conference final.
With three weeks to play and a 'match and a half' behind LSU (the defeat and the direct tiebreaker), its rival of the Western sector, it is very difficult for Alabama to overcome the Tigers. So they need a scenario as in the 2017 season.
This year, Alabama lost the Iron Bowl to Auburn and did not go to the conference final, where his state rival lost to Georgia. The Bulldogs acceded as number 3 to the College Football Playoff, but chaos at two of the other four conferences opened the door to Crimson Tide, since the Big Ten was won by Ohio State with 11-2 and USC won the Pac 12 also with two losses.
For 2019, the picture does not look so clear for Tide.
Except for a strange case, SEC champion will leave between Georgia and LSU, and if both arrive with maximum defeat, the winner will be inside.
The teams that have no margin for error are in the ACC, since the reigning champion, Clemson, remains undefeated but has against his calendar, which could finish without playing against a team ranked among the top 25, so a defeat at any point could leave them out.
In Pac 12, there are no undefeated, but if there is a conference final between the two with just one setback, Utah and Oregon, The champion will surely be inside. Alabama needs a champion with two losses.
In the Big 12, Oklahoma and Baylor They are in dispute and could be measured up to two times. The Sooners have a defeat to their credit, while the Bears are undefeated. Alabama needs the champion to have two losses and his option would be for Oklahoma to fall this week in his visit to Baylor, but to win the rematch in the conference championship game.
In the Big Ten, the situation is more complicated. Ohio State and Minnesota are undefeated while Penn State fell for the first time over the weekend against the Golden Gophers. Buckeyes and Nittany Lions meet in two weekends and the winner will surely play against Minnesota, which does not have it easy to have to face two more ranked, Iowa and Wisconsin.
The ideal scenario for Alabama is that Minnesota lose those two games, which would put Wisconsin, which already has two defeats, in the conference final, and may the Bagders give the surprise. It looks very complicated, because everything aims to have a champion with a maximum defeat.
So the summary formula for Alabama is that LSU is a SEC champion and that there are two conference champions with two losses, or a champion with two losses and that Clemson loses a match. Difficult, but not impossible, so Crimson Tide cannot be ruled out yet.