Wolken: 'Hard to keep Alabama out' of CFP even if Tide loses to UGA

The Morning Show w/ John & Hugh
November 26, 2018 - 11:22 am

© Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


With the college football regular season out of the way, many of the conference championship games get underway this Saturday - highlighted by the SEC title game between Alabama and Georgia (a rematch of the College Football Playoff championship game) - and John Fricke and Randy McMichael talked with USA TODAY's national columnist Dan Wolken on this week's games and if he thought a one-loss Crimson Tide team could still make it into the CFB playoff.

“I think the way it’s set up, it’s a very good possibility,” he said.  “Look at the other teams in the mix.  I enjoy Oklahoma and I think Kyler Murray would do a lot of damage, but they (OU's defense) just can’t stop anybody.  You’ve got Ohio State, who’ve been ‘team turmoil’ all season long, but they lost by 30 points to Purdue earlier this season.  If you end up with Georgia winning this game, and with one loss Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State, I think it’ll be hard to keep Alabama out.”

If you weren't aware, here's the list of college football conference title games this weekend:

  • Pac-12 Championship (FRI) - Utah vs. Washington, 8 ET (FOX)
  • Big 12 Championship (SAT) - Texas vs. Oklahoma, 12 noon (ABC)
  • Conference USA Championship (SAT) - Middle Tennessee vs. UAB, 1:30 ET (CBSSN)
  • AAC Championship (SAT) - Memphis vs. UCF, 3:30 ET (ABC)
  • SEC Championship (SAT) - Alabama vs. Georgia, 4 ET (CBS)
  • ACC Championship (SAT) - Clemson vs. Pittsburgh, 8 ET (ABC)
  • Big Ten Championship (SAT) - Northwestern vs. Ohio State, 8 ET (FOX)

While Fricke has been a proponent of seeing more participation than the current four-team playoff, Wolken - while admitting he wouldn't mind an adjustment in the system - realizes the current set-up is all the committee will allow at this time.  “It’s what they’re supposed to do, but they certainly want the four best champions, and want to avoid a situation like when Wisconsin went to the Rose Bowl at 8-5 after beating OSU in the Big Ten championship game.  Ultimately at the end of the day there’s going to be exceptions.”  Should there be more than the four teams? – “I wish, and I understand it’s not implausible, but to have six teams in it.  That’s what I prefer…but it’s not going to happen.”