How Georgia could still get into the College Football Playoff with a loss to Alabama
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How Georgia could get into the College Football Playoff with a loss
No one reading this really wants Georgia to lose on Saturday against No. 1 Alabama. They’d love to see Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs take down Nick Saban for the first time since 2007 and earn their way back into the College Football Playoffs.
But some have already wondered: Could Georgia — who came in at No. 4 in last night’s College Football Playoff rankings — still make the playoffs even with a competitive loss to Alabama this week in the SEC Championship game?
ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit argued that Georgia could have a case against both Oklahoma and Ohio State if the Bulldogs play Alabama as close they did in the national championship game last year.
“I think the way the (SEC Championship Game) plays out will go a long way in the argument post-game discussion into Sunday morning,” Herbstreit said. “If it’s a game like they had last year in the national championship and Georgia loses a close one like that, even with two losses, I personally think Georgia would have the very strong case (for the Playoffs).
“Their punishment for an 11-1 year will be to go play Alabama. Ohio State? They get to play Northwestern. Oklahoma plays Texas. It’s a little bit different what Georgia has to go though, and I think we need to take that into consideration at the end of the day. I’m not caught up in the ‘two losses, they’re automatically eliminated’ (stuff). If they play their tails off and lose a close one, I think they’ll have a case to be made.”
No two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoffs, though Auburn likely would’ve done so in 2017 had it beaten Georgia in the SEC championship game. Instead, the Bulldogs won that game, and then beat Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich didn’t quite see it the same way as Herbstreit, but still put forth a case for Georgia to make it: Say Georgia plays Alabama close but loses. Then Ohio State and Oklahoma both fall on Saturday.
Dinich says that in that scenario, the College Football Playoff committee would be looking at a decision between the Bulldogs and an unbeaten UCF team that is no longer with star quarterback McKenzie Milton.
“The Knights would definitely be considered, but their fans need to brace themselves for the fact it could be Georgia, given how important strength of schedule is to the committee when determining the top four teams,” Dinich said. “Just because a team is undefeated does not mean it is one of the best in the eyes of the committee, as UCF learned last season.”
UCF came in at No. 8 in the rankings last night, behind 10-2 Michigan. The Knights do play Memphis this week for the AAC championship.
FiveThirtyEight’s model actually gives Texas a slightly better chance of making the College Football Playoff (31 percent) instead of Georgia (29 percent), should Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State all lose. Though it’s hard to imagine that the playoff committee would put in a three-loss Texas team over a two-loss Georgia team, especially when two of Texas’ losses have come against Maryland and Oklahoma State. The Longhorns came in ranked No. 14 on Tuesday night.
Of course, even if Ohio State does find a way to lose to 8-4 Northwestern and Oklahoma loses again to Texas, would the College Football Playoff committee turn around and have Georgia play Alabama again? The Crimson Tide have been the undisputed No. 1 team in the country this year. With Clemson and Notre Dame likely to be No. 2 and No. 3, Georgia would be the No. 4 team. That would mean that Georgia and Alabama would play for the second time in less than a month.
That scenario seems highly unlikely when you factor in that a Georgia-Alabama scenario would mean three Power 5 conferences get left out, and it would force fans to watch the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs play for the third time in less than a year. Other than Alabama and Georgia fans, just about nobody would sign up for that.
If Georgia were to win, an Alabama-Georgia rematch in the College Football Playoffs may be inevitable, as a number of media pundits have stated that Alabama will be in the College Football Playoff even with a loss on Saturday. If that were to be the case, Georgia would likely play Notre Dame, while Clemson would face the one-loss Crimson Tide.
Saturday will be the rematch that a lot of Georgia fans wanted, given the events of last season. But there’s now a very good chance that Georgia and Alabama have another rematch before the season comes to a close.
Georgia players take time to visit Hospital
It’s a busy week for Georgia football, as the Bulldogs prepare for Alabama in the SEC Championship game. But that didn’t prevent several Georgia football players from stopping in at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital.
Junior Elijah Holyfield, junior Michail Carter, redshirt freshman Isaiah Wilson, sophomore Deangelo Gibbs, redshirt freshman Kolby Wyatt and redshirt sophomore Willie Erdman, all went and visited several young kids and older patients, just shortly after wrapping up practice on Tuesday night.
“Just because it brings a lot of joy to us too, seeing people smiling, especially when they’ve been down. It just brings joy to all of us, so whenever we have time to come, we’ll always come,” Holyfield said of the visit.
DawgNation will have more throughout Wednesday on the visit, but the moment of the night came when the Bulldogs visited a young Georgia fan named Lily. She was so overwhelmed by seeing some of her favorite Georgia players like Holyfield, that she was in tears as they walked through the door. Based off the look on her face, you would’ve thought that Santa walked in with a ton of presents.
“I think the little girl, just her face and seeing her made us all so happy. Stuff like this makes us all so happy,” Holyfield said on his favorite part of the visit.
We spend a lot of time writing about what Holyfield and others do on the field, but it was so incredibly cool seeing them make people feel so happy by just being there to say hello.
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- ESPN’s Greg McElroy explains why Georgia can play its best football game of the year on Saturday
- WATCH: Alabama’s top offensive lineman recognizes Georgia football progress, standard
- WATCH: The Kirby Smart media session for the SEC championship bout with Alabama
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- Does Georgia have to beat Alabama for this season to be a success?
Dawgs on the Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) November 28, 2018
Last 5 weeks:
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) November 27, 2018
With the exception of Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma fans, pretty much the whole world is a Georgia Bulldog fan this weekend.
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) November 27, 2018
Getting ready for a weekend of football. Rome on Friday and Alabama on Saturday. Let’s go to work boys 🏈 pic.twitter.com/Js7UVf5lxE
— lee fromm (@dylantylerjake) November 27, 2018
Good Dawg of the Day
This is Bruno. He has a job interview in the morning. Wanted to practice tying his tie tonight to be puppared. 13/10 skills include peanut butter and spontaneous wiggles pic.twitter.com/d0b7DSklKH
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) November 28, 2018