The College Football Playoff is set, and the four teams picked to compete are Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama. The first three teams all won their Conference Championship game on Saturday, but Alabama’s spot is the most controversial since they didn’t win the SEC.

I think Playoff teams should be required to win their Conference Title, but the Committee didn’t see it that way this year. They ended up choosing ‘Bama over Ohio State – despite the Buckeyes winning the Big 10.

With a team’s entire resume and other factors affecting the selections, a question worth asking is how much impact outside influence from coaches, fans, and media have on the final rankings?

Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban may not have been coaching on Saturday, but he still wanted to make an effort to voice his opinion on why he thought his team should get in.

He did his best to explain how worthy his team was, and tried to influence the committee to pick the Crimson Tide. After they got in he said, “I don’t know if it had an impact on the committee, but I wanted to put my case out there…You want to create awareness about your team.”

Saban’s attempt to defend his team, and present a strong case for why they should be part of the playoff, is very admirable. I even think we can learn something from his strategy and efforts.

As followers of Jesus, we too “want to create awareness about our team” and “put our case out there” for why our lives are different and transformed. The more we are convinced of God’s redeeming power, His surpassing peace, and His profound love, the more we’ll want to have an influence on others. We want to make sure they know about salvation and eternal life.

Ultimately, God is the One who changes hearts and minds, but He uses us to be a voice to people as we explain the truth and the Good News of Jesus. We have to be willing to stand up for God’s Word and make others aware of the incredible team we’re on.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15 (AMP), “But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.”

Nick Saban believes his team is one of the best in the country, and is convinced they belong in the Playoff. Today, let’s be ready and willing to tell people about the hope and peace we have because of Jesus, and openly share what we believe. As we’re convinced of God’s grace, love and power, let’s share with others how they, too, can belong to Christ.

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray I would have the confidence and conviction to share the Gospel with people, so they know how to find truth and hope. Please speak through me as I share with others, and help me be ready to offer a strong case for Christ. I ask that You’d make people aware of the peace and power inside of me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.