In order to get into the College Football Playoff the University of Georgia football team needs to beat Auburn on Saturday.
Otherwise, the Dawgs won’t get in.
That is all.
Alright, that’s not all, but it really is just that simple. You can legitimately make a case for all sorts of other chaos scenarios throughout the top seven to eight teams.
There is a way that Ohio State could undeservingly find a way into the Playoff for the third time in four years. There are multiple ways that Alabama could slide into the top four while being the only team in the top eight that isn’t playing on Championship Saturday. There is even an argument to be made that Clemson could be the 4-seed even if it loses to Miami.
But there are no such scenarios for UGA if it fails to beat Auburn.
The same is true for Auburn. The same is true for Miami, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Ohio State. The only two teams leave Saturday without a win and still possibly play in the Playoff are Clemson and Alabama.
The Alabama path is easy to imagine. Since the Crimson Tide are sitting at No. 5, all it takes is either Wisconsin or Oklahoma losing and they make that move upward. Fairly straightforward, and most likely why the committee saw fit to put Bama at No. 5 and UGA at No. 6.
Since UGA still controls its own destiny, leaving them at No. 6 doesn’t matter as much. But Bama being at No. 5 sets the Tide up perfectly to capitalize on doing nothing this weekend.
The interesting situation will be what happens if Clemson, Auburn and Oklahoma all win, and Wisconsin loses. Then the committee is left to choose between a one-loss Bama (that one loss being to a Playoff team in Auburn) and a Big-10 champion Ohio State. We know how the committee loves Ohio State. I still think Alabama gets in, but that’s the argument for Ohio State.
As for Clemson and its chances to get in even if the Tigers lose; we’re going to need some real chaos at this point.
In order for this to even become possible… of course Miami is in by beating Clemson, UGA would have to beat Auburn, Wisconsin would have to beat Ohio State, and TCU would need to beat Oklahoma. All four of those teams are underdogs in Vegas by the way, you could make a lot of money this weekend betting that parlay. Then you have the committee choosing between a two-loss Clemson and a one-loss Alabama, and we get to find out how much they care about number of losses versus total resume.
Clemson has a great argument over Alabama however, being that the one-loss Bama has is to a team that Clemson beat, Auburn. I still think Alabama probably gets the nod, but that’s mostly based on the assumption that committee will lean toward Alabama in a close situation.
This gets us back to the original point. There are no chaos scenarios that favor a two-loss UGA. As you probably noticed, both of the extreme examples we just talked about involved Alabama, and there is no way UGA can get in over Bama if the Dawgs lose. There is also no way three SEC schools can make the Playoff.
Two SEC schools can make it however, but one of them is going to be Alabama.
This whole conversation is the exact argument against expanding the playoff, by the way. What’s the point of having a six- or eight-team playoff, when the ACC, SEC, Big-10 and Big-12 conference championships are functioning as defacto play-in games? Plus it would remove some of this intrigue and conjecture, which is half the fun anyway.
Georgia has been one of the best teams in the country all year long. Th Dawgsy had a very bad day at Jordan-Hare a few weeks ago on the same day that Auburn had a very good day. There is nothing simpler to understand in sports than a “loser out” game. That’s what Saturday is for UGA and Auburn. Hopefully for Bulldog fans there are two more “loser out” games to follow.