Georgia can make its life easy by just winning the SEC Championship on Saturday. If the Bulldogs do that, there won’t be a debate, they will be in the College Football Playoff.
But if they lose, they could be in too. Kirk Herbstreit made an argument for why during ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday morning.
“If Alabama wins and wins decisively, Georgia’s out,” Herbstreit said. “If Alabama wins, and it’s a game like last year, I would make a very strong case for Georgia remaining in the Top 4 despite the two losses.
“I think you have to look at Georgia from the entire season. They tripped up at Baton Rouge. Their bonus for having an 11-1 year is they get to play Alabama.”
The Bulldogs certainly have the toughest championship matchup. While No. 1 plays No. 4 in the SEC Championship, the Big Ten and Big 12 feature one team outside the Top 13 in the playoff rankings. In the Pac-12, neither squad was in the Top 10, and in the ACC Championship, Pitt isn’t even ranked.
No, not all things are created equal in college football. But ESPN analyst David Pollack responded to Herbstreit on College GameDay with another potential factor.
“The human element of the committee is going to be like ‘We just saw this game (Alabama-Georgia), I don’t want to see it again,'” Pollack said. “And you’re going to give one either Oklahoma and Ohio State a shot to beat Alabama.”
That scenario is probably only in play if Georgia loses. Should the Bulldogs win, the committee could arrange the seeds so Georgia and Alabama wouldn’t play in the semifinals. That would allow both the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide to make the playoff without an immediate rematch.
However, Herbstreit didn’t care too much for Pollack’s statement.
“I don’t care what you want to see again. It’s the top four teams in the country. And Georgia should not be penalized (for facing Alabama).”
This is just the beginning of the debate. It will rage on well after the game until Sunday morning and probably much longer.
But Georgia can avoid it all with a win against Alabama.