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Should the Auburn Tigers win the Iron Bowl, here is how the Alabama Crimson Tide can still make it into the College Football Playoff.

Though the Alabama Crimson Tide can still eke this one out, they could potentially suffer a second conference loss on the year to the arch rival Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl.

Alabama is the No. 3 team in the land, but the Crimson Tide’s playoff dreams hang in the balances after losing a heartbreaker to the Texas A&M Aggies earlier in the season. The Crimson Tide have already clinched an SEC West division crown, meaning they will play the  juggernaut No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in the 2021 SEC Championship. Could they make the playoff with two losses on the year?

It is a very narrow pathway, but here is what has to happen for Alabama to get in with two losses.

College Football Playoff: How 2-loss Alabama can still make the four-team field

Assuming a tough road loss to Auburn, Alabama has no choice but to beat Georgia in Atlanta to win the SEC to potentially get in. If the Crimson Tide pull that off, they will be the first two-loss team to make the four-team field. Alabama may have Georgia’s number, but this year’s Dawgs team is different. Georgia is 12-0 and has already locked up one of the four spots to get in.

From there, the four-team field would probably include two-loss SEC champion Alabama, one-loss non-champion Georgia, one-loss Big Ten champion Michigan and either undefeated AAC champion Cincinnati or one-loss Big 12 champion between Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. Beating the best team in the nation to win the SEC may be enough for a two-loss Crimson Tide team to get in.

Thus far, no team has scored more than 17 points on the Georgia defense at any point this season.

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Bears Encouraged to Strongly Consider Veering in Upcoming NFL Draft

Getty One analyst thinks the Chicago Bears should snag Christian Harris of the Alabama Crimson Tide if he falls to the second round.

The Chicago Bears have multiple glaring needs heading into the 2022 NFL draft, many of which are centered on helping their young signal-caller.

Quarterback Justin Fields is heading into Year 2, and surrounding him with playmakers and stout offensive linemen should be high on the to-do list for the Bears. With the draft coming up on April 28, it won’t be long before Chicago’s plans are revealed.

The Bears don’t have a selection until the second round, and they’re slated to pick 39th overall (that’s the seventh pick in Round 2). Several early mocks, including one from The Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling, have Chicago drafting either a wide receiver or o-lineman, but one analyst thinks the team should target a linebacker to pair with Roquan Smith instead.

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Bears Should Draft Alabama Linebacker if He Falls to 2nd Round, Analyst Says

In his Jan. 26 column for Bleacher Report, Brett Sobleski selected a “surprise prospect” each NFL team could wind up snagging in the upcoming draft, and for the Bears he selected Alabama linebacker Christian Harris.

“Certain talents may make the Bears’ initial draft decision quite interesting,” Sobleski wrote. “Alabama linebacker Christian Harris is a great example. Roquan Smith has been fantastic in the middle of the Bears’ defense, but he needs a long-term running mate.”

Smith was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2021, but with Danny Trevathan showing his age in recent seasons, Sobleski thinks it would be wise for the Bears to grab a partner for Smith in the middle — if he should fall to the second round.

“Off-ball linebackers don’t hold the same value they once did and Harris will have competition with Georgia’s Nakobe Dean and Utah’s Devin Lloyd to be the first off the board at his position,” Sobleski added. “If he slides into the early stages of the second round, Chicago should strongly consider veering from their more obvious need areas to take the top available prospect.”

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Should Bears Go Defense in 2nd Round?

Harris has been a starter at linebacker for Alabama over the last three seasons (2019-2021), starting 40 games in that span. In his three years with the Crimson Tide, Harris amassed 220 total tackles (124 solo, 26.0 for loss), two forced fumbles, an interception, 10.0 sacks and six passes defended.

At 6 feet, 2 inches and 232 pounds, Harris is an athletic, three-down linebacker who is very similar in size to Smith. In their pre-draft evaluation, The Draft Network had this to say about the Alabama prospect:

Harris looks the part of an NFL linebacker with a strong upper body and a thick, muscular lower half. Combined with this frame, Harris is also an exceptional athlete that thrives at playing space. He has the versatility to cover backs out of the backfield and run with TEs vertically up the seams. In the run game, he is a physical presence that can deliver physical blows to ball-carriers. Harris is a versatile linebacker that has three-down value in the NFL because he can play against the run and has the athleticism to match up with TEs and RBs in pass coverage.

There’s little question Harris is an intriguing prospect, but the Bears allowed a league-high 58 sacks in 2021, and wideout Darnell Mooney is the team’s only receiving threat. The priorities for the Bears need to be o-line and wide receiver. Chicago could also use help at safety and cornerback, so linebacker is pretty far down on their list of needs.

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