This weekend’s Iron Bowl is a huge game for both No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn, as the winner will represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 2.

However, it’s also a big game because both squads have legitimate College Football Playoff aspirations and Auburn can’t afford another loss.

Alabama is currently undefeated, but a loss to the Tigers wouldn’t help their case much, either. Still, though, ESPN host Paul Finebaum thinks there’s a way both the Tigers and the Crimson Tide can make the final four.

On WJOX’s “The Opening Drive” on Monday, Finebaum said a narrow loss by Alabama would likely keep the Tide in the top four while also elevating Auburn to that level heading into the conference championship game.

“Auburn is legitimately one of the best teams in the country, and that’s the difference in the dynamics,” he said. “There’s a pretty good scenario — need a little bit of help — but I don’t think that’s far-fetched that a narrow loss by Alabama this week would still put them as probably the best prospect.

“When I heard Ohio State yesterday is a legitimate entrant if a couple things go haywire, it makes me think Alabama is in good shape regardless. I think there’s a decent percentage chance that both would get in assuming Auburn wins the game.”

Based on those comments, it would seem Alabama is basically a lock to make the Playoff at this point. However, the Crimson Tide could also ensure a second SEC team doesn’t get in by beating Auburn and then taking down Georgia in the SEC title game.

Are the Tide up to the challenge? That remains to be seen, but these next couple of weeks will be a lot of fun to watch.