Alabama needed help, no doubt about that, for unlike years before this time their fate was in the hands of other teams. Hows this for something to think (in retrospect) about.
If Alabama had beaten Auburn in the Iron Bowl they would still have been down and unhealthy with many players having to be out the following week in the SEC Championship game. Given the way Alabama was playing and how weakened they seemed, against Auburn, had they won there would be a very likely chance that Georgia would have beat them in Atlanta. If that had happened a two loss Alabama team, not a Conference champion would've had no chance to make the final four. Therefore it could be argued that the only way they could've made it may have been a defeat at the hands of Auburn then Auburn weakened by the Alabama, Iron Bowl, game fell victim to a resurgent and healthy, on fire, motivated, Georgia Bulldog team and thus even though they beat Alabama there was no way they could have made the final four with the three losses. Crazy things happen at times.
Now back to Alabama making the fourth playoff position team position. Again this would've been impossible unless TCU beat Oklahoma which wasn't going to happen, or if Ohio State was to beat Wisconsin but not by a huge amount which did happen. In beating Wisconsin, Ohio State was able to secure the Big Ten Conference championship but because of their two terrible losses (at Iowa especially and then to Oklahoma, at home) Ohio State which wanted, so bad, to be one of the final four teams so badly, essentially, made it possible, with their victory, for Alabama to be chosen as that, one (good) loss, team to make the 4th playoff position. If it had been Clemson that was defeated, by Miami, then Clemson would have most likely got the pick over Alabama but because it was Ohio State, with their huge loss to Iowa, they paved the way for Alabama using the same rationale that the committee used to choose Ohio State, last year, as a non-Conference winner, over the Big Ten conference winner, Penn State. Ohio State had to watch the Big Ten, along with the Pac 12, lose out on the final four teams.
So you have it ... two teams that despise Alabama worked together to essentially make it possible for Alabama to be in the final four while they were, and remained, outside looking in. Craziness