Alabama football was always going to need some chaos to even have a shot at making the College Football Playoff. There has been some this weekend. The question is, has there been enough chaos for the Crimson Tide to sneak in?
No two-loss team has ever made it since it started in 2014. The Crimson Tide picked up its second loss in overtime to LSU almost a month ago.
Sitting at No. 6 in the CFP rankings Tuesday, it seemed even more unlikely Alabama (10-2) could sneak into the four-team field. No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 TCU, No. 4 USC and No. 5 Ohio State stood in the way.
Then USC lost 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday. And TCU lost 31-28 to Kansas State in overtime on Saturday in the Big 12 championship game. USC has two losses, one bad, and TCU has a loss.
The USC loss likely keeps it out of the playoff. It has wins over two ranked teams in No. 17 UCLA and No. 21 Notre Dame. But it has two losses now to No. 11 Utah.
That opens the door for one-loss Ohio State to join the playoff. The Buckeyes lost 45-23 to No. 2 Michigan the last game of the regular season, but they have wins over No. 8 Penn State and No. 21 Notre Dame.
Nothing can be said with absolute certainty, but Ohio State will likely get a spot over the Crimson Tide considering neither has played a game since the Buckeyes were ranked one spot ahead of Alabama.
That leaves a question as to whether TCU or the Crimson Tide should be the other team included. TCU has a win over No. 10 Kansas State in the regular season and No. 20 Texas. Alabama's best wins are over No. 20 Texas and No. 24 Mississippi State. TCU's lone loss was on Saturday in overtime. Alabama lost to No. 7 Tennessee on the road on a last second field goal and to No. 14 LSU on the road in overtime.
Pulling out the microscope even more, TCU beat Texas 17-10 in Austin. The Crimson Tide won 20-19 in Austin. That gives TCU a slight edge in similar matchups if the CFP committee puts the two side-by-side.
Alabama has had a tougher schedule, though. The Crimson Tide is ranked No. 8 in strength of schedule, per ESPN's college football power index. The Horned Frogs are No. 36 in strength of schedule.
TCU has a better resume with the higher-ranked win, and Alabama doesn't have as impressive of a win. Still, perhaps the CFP committee gives more weight to Alabama's strength of schedule.
That said, TCU probably makes more sense to take a spot in the four-team field over the Crimson Tide considering TCU"s only loss was in overtime. Computers don't make the decision, though. There's a human element to the CFP committee's selection process. That's the wild card no one can anticipate.
So until the final rankings are announced Sunday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN, nothing can be said with absolute certainty. Just don't count on Alabama being the favorite to get that final spot.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Can Alabama football make CFP rankings top 4 after TCU, USC lose?