The Monday After: How Alabama’s loss likely helps its chances to make the playoff

Auburn beat Alabama in another classic Iron Bowl on Saturday. It was the second time in three weeks that Auburn beat the No. 1 team in the country, and the win launched the Tigers into the SEC title game, where they’ll once again face Georgia, one win away from a playoff berth.

Still, as entertaining a game as it was, and as critical as the result is to the college football landscape, there was one thought that I couldn’t shake after it ended. The kind of notion that doesn’t seem logical in any sense, but just might be a new reality in this sport.

The loss improved Alabama’s chance of making the playoff too.

Alabama essentially stepped into the role of Ohio State last season — a team with one loss and a very powerful brand; a team that now does not have to play another game, and instead can sit back and watch as others are forced to prove their worth one more time.

Should things go as those oracles in Las Vegas expect them to this week, USC, Auburn, Oklahoma, Clemson and Ohio State will win. If that happens, Auburn, Oklahoma and Clemson are sure things for one of the four playoff spots, leaving 11-2 Southern Cal and 11-2 Ohio State in the running for

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