That message: Alabama must win all of its remaining games.
So far, so good. the Crimson Tide of Coach Nick Saban -- primary messenger to the Bama nation, including players -- has reeled off eight consecutive wins to run its record to 10-1 overall and 6-1 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama can wrap up the Southeastern Conference Western Division title and a spot in the SEC Championship Game against Florida if the Tide can beat cross-state rival Auburn (6-5, 2-5) on Saturday. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. CST and CBS will televise the game.
Moreover, Alabama has climbed to second in the nation in the CFP poll.
Regular season games (for the most part) conclude this weekend -- rivalry week, since so many teams finish the year against rivals -- and they will be followed by the conference championship games for the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12. On Dec. 6 the CFP will announce the four teams making the championship playoff. (They will also announce other bowl games.)
No one doubts that if Bama defeats Auburn and Florida the Tide will be in the final four, no worse than first or second.
Undefeated Clemson, coached by former Alabama player and assistant coach Dabo Swinney, has been in first in each of the CFP polls and has games against woeful South Carolina and then the ACC championship game against North Carolina.