Roll Damn Tide

As I wait out a nine hour layover in Qatar, I figured I might as well write up a new post. We will publish the 2018 schedule in a couple of weeks and it looks to be a good one. In the process of mapping the 2018 season, I have come to an early conclusion on the 2018 BSC playoff. Shocker, I am betting that defending champion Alabama makes the playoff again. Actually, I am only wishing I was able to really bet. No wagering here as Texas drags its feet on legalizing betting despite the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Murphy, Governor of New Jersey v. NCAA, which sounds more like some aggrieved Notre Dame alum railing against college football for unfairly penalizing the Irish for their independent schedule than the case legal gambling. Of course, it has nothing to do with whiny ND alums, although I would appreciate any legislation that does. Instead, it gives all of us punters the right to finally legally bet on college football if only our resident state will comply. Strange that my current home state of Texas will let me buy all the AK-47s and armor piercing bullets I want, but if I want to take the over in Texas Tech versus Boise State, I am shit out of luck. However, I digress. Let us refocus on the issue on hand and wonder at how the Crimson Tide schedules its way to the CFB playoffs every year.

I had already mapped out my schedule for the 2018 season when my son mentioned that he had an inside track on some ‘Bama tickets. The Tide was not on my schedule this year for a number of reasons, primarily because there wasn’t a South Alabama or UAB Thursday night game to pair with a Saturday in Tuscaloosa. With the chance to get reasonable tickets to ‘Bama, I checked out their schedule to see what might work for us. This is the Tide’s schedule for 2018:

This schedule is not exactly a murderers’ row. I did a little research and noted that five of these teams didn’t even have winning seasons in 2017 and if I subtract Texas A&M’s squeaker win over the FCS’ Nicholls last year, it brings that total to six teams. It is not particularly impressive when half your schedule was made up of last year’s losers.  Here’s another interesting nugget, half the teams ‘Bama plays will have brand new coaches. The Tide’s quality opponents in 2018? Discounting a Lamar Jackson-less Louisville, it leaves you with LSU (who lost to Troy in 2017), Mississippi State (new coach) and Auburn (who they have at home). Hell, I might as well add Sun Belt runner up Arkansas State to the list because there really isn’t anyone else.

Combine this with the strategic placement of the Citadel in a November game, and Saban will have his cupcake and eat it too. It is easy to see the Tide roll into the Auburn game undefeated, lose, and still make the playoffs because they only lost once! Oh, and assuming that loss eliminates them from the SEC championship game and as surely as an undefeated group of five team will be overlooked, the committee will let them in again. Enjoy that nice long three week vacation Nick, where you can coach up another freshman QB to save your ass. Look I am not bitter. Alabama won the championship fair and square last year. However, the playoff format has to change. The committee can’t keep rewarding teams for not winning their conference championships.

In the end, we still haven’t yet lined out the Alabama game for 2018. Honestly, their home games are pretty weak but as the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers. Nonetheless, I will be damned if I going to ‘Bama to see them play the Citadel.