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The Alabama Crimson Tide ranked sixth in the inaugural College Football Playoff standings. With a bye this past week, it's feasible they could be a notch or two down the ladder come Tuesday.
However, with a murderous finishing stretch that includes three teams in the top 20 of the College Football Playoff rankings, Alabama has destiny in their own hands.
"Obviously that means everything," offensive lineman Austin Shepherd said, via Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Montgomery Advertiser. "Pretty much you go out there and lose a game you're done, so it's kind of our own four-team playoff now. We win out, we control our own destiny so that's what we're trying to do."
Alabama heads to #14 LSU on Saturday before hosting the #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs the next week. The Tide get a break of sorts with a home game against Western Carolina after that, but resume the scheduling gauntlet with the Iron Bowl against #3 Auburn to finish out the regular season.
Add in an SEC title game after that if they maneuver that minefield and the schedule looks mighty tough heading into bowl season.
"I feel like it happens every year," Shepherd said.
"It comes down to those (SEC teams) every year, and I think we're ready for it."
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