Same Thing For Alabama In More Than One Way

On Sept. 19, nothing looked very good for Alabama football. The Crimson Tide had just committed five turnovers and lost a six-point game (43-37) to Ole Miss in Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was just the third game of the year. The message then was the same as it is today after the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has issued its fourth poll.

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.

In the latest poll, Oklahoma has jumped to third with undefeated Iowa fourth.

Just outside those four are Michigan State, Notre Dame (which fell from fourth after a sloppy win over Boston College), and Baylor.

The only SEC teams in the poll besides Alabama are Florida at 12, Ole Miss at 20, and Mississippi State at 21.

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