It seems the only way Alabama can make it to the college football playoffs is beating Mississippi State or Auburn, or both.
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There is not a more frustrating place to be in the college football playoff standings than 5th: Out of the top four, out of the major bowl games, and out of the minds of anyone who might consider the team a national champion. But that is the situation Alabama is relatively at right now, not at 5th but at 6th, but still in the frustrating position of being so close yet too far away.
With the first College Football Playoff poll being made on Tuesday, undefeated Mississippi, defending champion and fellow-undefeated Florida State, hated-rival Auburn, and Ole Miss (the only team to beat the Crimson Tide this season), as well as Pac-12 powerhouse Oregon, all go spots ahead of Alabama.
But if there is one thing Nick Saban is a master at, it’s taking teams by surprise and with only one road game against LSU remaining before three home games against almost-equally matched opponents, the road to the college football playoffs shouldn’t be impossible to traverse.
Here are the power rankings of the SEC conference teams heading into Week 10:
14. Vanderbilt – Came close to pulling off their first SEC win over Missouri, but the team still never even held the lead in that game.
13. Tennessee – At home the Vols have been relatively formidable, but on the road they’ve given up 34 to 35 points every single time this season.
12. Arkansas – Lost in how terrible Arkansas is against the SEC is that they have annihilated each of the four non-SEC opponents they’ve had this season
11. Florida – With no breaks or bye weeks the rest of the way, it’ll be a good opportunity for Florida to determine if they move forward with freshman QB Treon Harris.