The mystique of the Alabama Crimson Tide finally shone through in the SEC Championship Game this past weekend. The Tide played their best football of the season to upset the two-time defending National Champion Georgia Bulldogs to win the SEC title, and that victory got Alabama put in this year's College Football Playoff at the eleventh hour to play the University of Michigan in the Rose Bowl semifinal.
Being in the College Football Playoff is a position very familiar to Alabama. What isn't familiar, however, is the position that the bookmakers have put the Crimson Tide in entering consecutive games.
Michigan opened as a -2.5 favorite against Alabama on Sunday and they are in a position to be underdogs in back-to-back games for only the second time since head coach Nick Saban joined the team in 2007. Should the Tide close as underdogs, it will also be the first time they've been underdogs to a non-SEC school since the 2008 Sugar Bowl against Clemson, and only the fifth time Alabama has been an underdog since the start of 2010.
If Alabama (+1.5) closes as an underdog against Michigan, it would be only the second time in Nick Saban's 235 games coaching the Crimson Tide that they would be underdogs in back-to-back games.— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) December 4, 2023
The other time was in his first season in 2007 🤯
Alabama's being an underdog is far from settled, particularly given the amount of time that remains between the bracket's announcement and the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Early betting has reportedly been in Alabama's favor, which has reportedly moved the line to only -1.5 in Michigan's favor.
In the last four instances of Alabama being underdogs -- all of which, incidentally, have come against Georgia -- the Crimson Tide are 3-1 both against the spread and outright.