Was listening to The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz this morning and the latter mentioned the rare reality that is Alabama at +260 to win the College Football Playoff. Nick Saban's team already has a primetime blemish against Texas A&M on its ledger and has been flying unusually off the center of the radar behind some surprising unbeatens. Likely SEC Championship foe Georgia has established itself as the top of the class and could have two shots at eliminating the Tide. Alabama has responded from the sting by posting victories by a combined 68 points the past two weekends. Bryce Young is a major talent and the offense is averaging 45.9 per contest, good for second in the nation.
All that brings on the old familiar feeling of wondering if after a few months of chaos we're trending toward the creeping inevitability of another ring for Saban's murderers' row. And the thought that these are very attractive odds with which to purchase the sport's all-time hunted.
Alabama has winnable games at home against LSU, New Mexico State and Arkansas remaining. None is talented or consistent enough to inflict even a sobering scare. The season closes with the Iron Bowl in Auburn's territory. Though Bo Nix loves to rise to the moment, it would be a strong shock if the march to repeat ends there.
Then, presumably, will be the date with Kirby Smart's Bulldogs, who may not even need to win in order to secure a berth in the playoff. Predicting the level of competitiveness this far out is understandably specious but there is an event horizon where the hungrier team asserts itself and gives the conference two entrants.
Ohio State sports the top scoring offense in the land and can go as high as C.J. Stroud cares to climb. Cincinnati wins footballs and awaits the opportunity to prove it against the bluebloods. Oklahoma has its obvious shortcomings. It's not unreasonable to think Alabama is the second-best team in the country right now and could continue to raise its ceiling.
All the twists and turns could end in a routine destination. If so, we'll wonder how we didn't see it coming. Better to be prepared.