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Sports Illustrated: Alabama to miss playoff, face unranked team in Sugar Bowl

A Sports Illustrated (SI) college football writer’s playoff projection is bound to receive criticism from the Crimson Tide faithful.

Richard Johnson, an award-winning journalist, recently released his projected post-season matchups for key bowl games and the College Football Playoff (CFP).

Missing the CFP, according to Johnson, will be No. 2 ranked Alabama — the nation’s most dominant program in the post-BCS era.

The SI writer has Alabama facing the currently unranked Kansas Jayhawks in a New Year’s Eve matchup for the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

The following are Johnson’s CFP projections:

  • Peach Bowl: Georgia vs. Ohio State (Atlanta)
  • Fiesta Bowl: USC vs. Oklahoma State (Glendale, Ariz.)

History is not favorable to Johnson’s projection for Alabama, however.

If Johnson’s projection for the Tide holds true, it would be only the second year since the CFP’s inception in 2014 that Alabama missed a shot at playing for a national title.

The Crimson Tide missed the CFP in 2019, a year which saw star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffer a season-ending injury due to a dislocated hip sustained against Ole Miss. LSU would go on to win the national title that year.

In Alabama’s seven CFP appearances, Nick Saban’s squad has played in the National Championship Game a total of six times, three of which the Tide won.

The Crimson Tide’s title game victories have come against Clemson (2015), Georgia (2017) and Ohio State (2020). Its only losses were at the hands of Clemson (2016), Clemson (2018) and Georgia (2021).

The only year that Alabama failed to advance past the CFP semifinals was in 2014, which saw the Tide lose to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl — a year in which the Buckeyes claimed the national title.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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