The goal for every team is to make the playoffs, as it should be. One of the teams that has been a regular in the College Football Playoff that may find themselves on the outside this year is Alabama Football.
Since the College Football Playoff era began in 2014, Alabama Football has made an appearance almost every year, and has made the championship game in six of those eight years.
While this is best case scenario for any team, here’s a few positives to not making the CFP for Alabama:
Why Alabama Football missing the CFP is a good thing for the Tide
1. Year-Over-Year, Alabama has to wait until the following season to see potential starters for next years team in live game situations. Not making the CFP now-a-days, many players will sit out to prepare for the NFL draft, making games that aren’t part of the CFP null in void in the eyes of the viewers, potential recruits, etc. With that being said, it makes it an ideal situation for Alabama head coach, Nick Saban to test out some of his backups that could start the following season.
Take this past year as an example. Alabama was very much unsettled with many positions on their starting defense, as well as receivers and offensive line on the offensive side of the ball. The Crimson Tide had to go off of the spring game and practices leading up to their first game of the season against Utah State to begin to iron some of those things out.
Having a “game-in-hand” so-to-speak the year before is a unique opportunity for them to get ahead of some of these key positions which is an opportunity they don’t normally have.
2. Specific to this coming season, another benefit of not making the CFP for Alabama could be identifying a starting quarterback before the 2023 campaign even begins. With Bryce Young presumably leaving for the NFL, the top two quarterbacks that will be battling it out for Alabama will be current true freshman, Ty Simpson and redshirt freshman Jalen Milroe. Both quarterbacks saw limited action this past season with Milroe starting one game for the injured Bryce Young.
A non-CFP Bowl Game is an ideal situation for Saban to split time with Simpson and Milroe trying to get a leg up for identifying his starting quarterback for next season before spring even begins, which is an oddity for Alabama having always played their starters until seasons-end.
To reiterate, making the CFP would be Alabama’s preference, as it would be for any team. But the silver lining is that if the bowl game is used correctly by Saban and the staff, they could be ahead of the curve identifying some key contributors for the 2023 campaign before it event begins.