TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — No. 1 Alabama's path to the Southeastern Conference championship and an assured spot in the playoffs is clear but awfully treacherous.
The Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 SEC, No. 1 CFP) can secure a spot in the league title game with a road win at No. 6 Auburn (9-2, 6-1) on Saturday.
Even coach Nick Saban, who has a noted distaste for hype-fueled distractions, had to admit that the Iron Bowl has "got lots of ramifications this year."
Lose and Alabama's run of three straight SEC titles comes to an end, and a fourth-consecutive playoff berth isn't a sure bet.