With surprising teams like Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Kentucky all sitting at 3-0 heading into Week 4, it’s tough to tell if the SEC is having a down year or if the balance of power has simply shifted to some perennial underdogs.

This weekend will do a lot to sort things out in the conference, but FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd isn’t waiting to completely write off the SEC.

On his show on Wednesday, Cowherd said if Alabama loses even a single game this year, the SEC will be shut out of the College Football Playoff:

Alabama has made the final four every year since it started, winning one title in that time, and looks likely to make it again this year.

However, Cowherd thinks Clemson, either Oklahoma State or Oklahoma and the Big Ten champion are locks to make the postseason tournament, while an undefeated Washington or USC squad would get the nod over a one-loss Alabama team.

Of course, the Crimson Tide are currently 3-0 and, though they face a tough test at Alabama this weekend, shouldn’t be ruled out just yet.