College Football Playoff Notebook: Does Alabama Deserve to Be in Contention?

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 25:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team in warm ups prior to the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama isn’t playing in the SEC Championship Game for the first time in four seasons. Nevertheless, the Crimson Tide are still positioned to emerge as the biggest story of the weekend.

This season’s edition of the College Football Playoff will be shaped Saturday when the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and SEC championships command the football world’s attention from noon until midnight. However, only one sequence of results will prevent us from talking about Nick Saban‘s team.

Should both No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Wisconsin celebrate league titles, the selection committee has an easy job. Those two squads plus the winners of the ACC and SEC championships would stand out as the four most deserving programs.

If any other result occurs, “most deserving” is debatable.

And, my friends, will there be plenty of debates about whether Alabama best fits the definition.

The Crimson Tide stormed through September and October, consistently leaving no

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