In a somewhat surprising move, the College Football Playoff committee ranked Georgia ahead of Alabama for the No. 1 spot in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide came in at No. 2.
CFP committee chairman Kirby Hocutt explained why the committee put the Bulldogs ahead of Alabama, which is ranked No. 1 in the AP and coaches poll.
“The debate, as passionate as the discussion for teams 3 through 7 was, was even more passionate for teams 1 and 2,” Hocutt said. “It was the two wins against top-25 CFP teams and, of course, the win over No. 3 Notre Dame that gave Georgia the slight edge this week.”
The Bulldogs have wins over No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 16 Mississippi State, while Alabama does not have a win over a team ranked in the CFP rankings. That can change this week, as Alabama hosts No. 19 LSU. The Bulldogs take on South Carolina before traveling to No. 14 Auburn.
Hocutt went on to point out that head-to-head does matter, which is why the committee ranked Oklahoma No. 5, Ohio State No. 6 and Penn State No. 7. Hocutt also praised the overall resumes for Notre Dame and Clemson, which each have multiple wins over teams in the rankings.
Assuming that Georgia and Alabama continue to win out, the two will meet in the SEC title game. That game, which would be played in Atlanta, is set for Dec. 2. It’s worth noting that ESPN analyst Booger McFarland said if both teams got to the championship game with unbeaten records, the only way both teams make the playoffs is if Alabama wins.
McFarland thinks that if Alabama were to lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide would not make the cut based on their resume.