In Sunday’s podcast ESPN’s Paul Finebaum cried out the Volunteers’ ferocious pass defense and then made a bold claim regarding the Alabama Crimson Tide possibly sneaking back into the College Football Playoff Picture.
The final weeks of the 2022 college football regular season are drawing to a close, and that means teams are vying for league position College football playoff rankings. That Tennessee volunteers Secondary school had brought a blowtorch to it South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler on Saturday night. He torched the Vols with 438 passing yards and six touchdowns Williams Brice Stadium, further exposing a glaring weakness that Tennessee has dealt with for the last two years. South Carolina choked fifth-place Tennessee 63-38 in one of the biggest wins of the year Shane Beamer era in Colombia.
And all of that could be in Alabama’s favor, according to the ESPN analyst.
Paul Finebaum calls for defense of Tennessee Pass
Finebaum said people forgot how bad the Tennessee pass defense was all season. It was also a glaring weakness last season. But a lot of people overlooked that in hopes of building them into one of the best teams in the nation.
“And the one thing we haven’t really talked about enough. Tennessee’s defenses, especially pass defenses, have been a suspect all year,” Finebaum said on the podcast Matt Barrie “We tried to build them up. “Hey, they’ve gotten better.” But Alabama and Bryce Young had a great day against them. It was just a few stupid decisions late in the game by offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and then reversed from the defensive side of the ball that cost Alabama that game. And I’m sure Alabama fans today are like, ‘How did we get here? We should still be in the playoffs. I’m sure they say. By the way, they won’t be far off.”
As of Sunday evening (November 20), the Crimson Tide currently sits at number 8 in the latest version of the College football playoff rankings. With the Tennessee Volunteers upset Saturday night, it should mean Alabama would move up one spot in the rankings.
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We’ll have to see what the committee decides on Tuesday night. And college football is a crazy, crazy sport. Anything can happen in a given week. Alabama would certainly need a lot of help from the teams ahead of them in the rankings this weekend. We’ll just have to wait and see what develops during Rivalry Week.