Even though Alabama did not play on Saturday, Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban made his way to the office to make a case for his team's participation in the college football playoff set to be announced on Sunday.
Saban appeared on ESPN's Twitter College Football Show with former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and ESPN's Skubie Mageza to argue a two-loss Alabama team had some extenuating circumstances that deserved consideration.
Watch (relevant portion begins at 25:30):
"I think there are some arguments for this team," he said. "You know, during the middle of the season, we started out really strong. Bryce [Young] got hurt at Arkansas. You've got to kind of look at how teams are playing at present. We finished 3-0. Played some pretty good teams. Played Ole Miss on the road when they were number nine in the country. But Bryce really missed the [Texas] A&M game. We overcame that. Won that, came back, and [he] couldn't practice really for the next month. He was on a very low pitch count. Couldn't really practice, so I think that sort of impacted how we developed on offense."
"We lost two games on the road to one top-five team, one top-10 team on the last play of the game," Saban continued. "But now that he's healthier and he's able to practice, I think we're a different team, and I think you should look at the circumstances around a two-loss team versus a one-loss team. And how are they playing at the end of the season? How are they playing at present? And I think our team played well down the stretch, and we're playing well at the present. I mean, we're fifth in the nation on offense, scoring offense, tenth in total defense, scoring defense. So, we had some vulnerabilities in the middle of the season in a tough part of the year when had some games on the road and got beat on the last play of the game twice, which hopefully we can do better. But our team showed a lot of resiliency to stick with it, finish the year the right way, continue to improve, and we ended up winning our last three games."
Saban concluded his argument by asking how Alabama might fare against the teams locked into the playoff in hypothetical matchups.
"I guess I would ask the question: If we played these teams in question, would we be underdogs in the game or not?" Saban added. "That should answer everybody's questions relative to who the best teams are at present. That's how this should play out. It would be interesting."
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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