Strictly business with bowl games
The Tide is 6-6. It is one of nine SEC bowl-eligible teams. The SEC has eight bowl tie-ins with the final selection belonging to the PetroSun Independence Bowl here in Shreveport.
That fact alone could put the I-Bowl in the position of actually making a choice among SEC teams, even at No. 8 in the picking process.
So let's say it comes down to Alabama and South Carolina on the SEC side.
There will be some that say take South Carolina. The Gamecocks have Steve Spurrier. They have a loyal fan base. And they didn't snub the I-Bowl the way Alabama did a couple of years ago in picking the Music City Bowl instead of the I-Bowl.
But the bowl business is just that - a business. And Alabama's choice from a couple of years ago likely won't have any effect this year.
While they won't say it publicly, no bowl game wants repeat teams and South Carolina would be a repeat. It's not good for the bowl. It's not good for the team. It's not good for the players.
That alone would likely give Alabama an upper hand in an either-or-selection, no matter how much anyone would like to go the other direction.