Talking playoffs: Could UGA make it as a 12-1 non-SEC champ?

Will the Bulldogs be strutting come Dec. 3? (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

We’re about to get ahead of ourselves. The first set of College Football Playoff rankings won’t be revealed until Halloween. The set that matters won’t arrive until Sunday, Dec. 3, after the conference championships. Much can and will happen in the interim. There’s your disclaimer.

Georgia is ranked fourth in the Associated Press poll. (It’s fifth in the coaches’ version, one spot behind Washington.) Four teams make the playoff, now in its fourth season. Of the 12 teams that have made the field, 11 were conference champs, the exception being Ohio State last year. No conference has generated two semifinalists in one season.

That in mind, we look beyond Georgia’s next six games to the SEC title tilt in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Let’s say the Bulldogs are 12-0 on the morning of Dec. 2. Let’s say they lose to Alabama that day. On the morning of Dec. 3, they wouldn’t be a conference champ – but they’d be 12-1. Playoff-wise, would that be enough?

The question was put to ESPN’s Brad Edwards, the best playoff analyst in the business: Would a 12-1 Georgia with a loss to Bama have a shot? Said Edwards: “It depends on a lot of things, but here are two immediate things. The first one is how close the Alabama game is. Is it the kind of game people would love to see again? Because if you had both in the playoff, there’s a good chance they’d play again. It would be the same if Georgia beats Alabama. Is it the kind of game leaves you wondering, ‘If it had lasted five more plays, would there be a different winner?’

“The second thing: How good do Auburn and Notre Dame end up being? Those are potentially two high-quality road wins. If Auburn is 9-3 with losses to Alabama, Clemson and Georgia, our (Football Power Index) would still have them as a top 10 team. And I think Notre Dame has a really good chance to go 10-2. That would give Georgia two road wins over teams over in the back end of top 10.”

This presumes that Georgia wins in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 11. That looms as the one remaining regular-season game in which the Bulldogs aren’t certain favorites. Should they lose at Auburn, their only playoff hope is to win the SEC title. No two-loss team has made the field. Penn State missed it as a two-loss Big Ten champ last season.

Said Edwards: “If you’re putting (12-1 Georgia) up against other one-loss teams, their resume would be very strong. If you’re putting them up against a two-loss conference champion, I certainly would like Georgia. Then it comes down to: What would be the importance of a conference title to the selection committee? It’s important, but last year they told us (via Ohio State’s inclusion) it wasn’t that important.”

Then: “The ideal scenario is not to have two teams from one conference. (Playoff CEO) Bill Hancock and (committee chair) Kirby Hocutt will never admit this, but if Alabama and Clemson are conference champions, the last thing they’d want would be three teams from South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. From a TV standpoint, that would be a ratings disaster. Even though Alabama and Clemson played great (championship) games the last two years, the ratings have not been close to Ohio State-Oregon the first year. We’ve seen the impact – the same was true for Alabama-LSU (in the January 2012 BCS title game) – of having two teams from the same part of country. Having three teams would be a stake through the heart. I think committee members know that. Question is, will they care?”

Then: “They could also end up where they have no choice.”

Every Big 12 team save TCU has a loss, and the Horned Frogs must play at Oklahoma, which must visit Oklahoma State. “The potential is growing for a two-loss team in the Big 12 championship,” Edwards said.

Then there’s the Pac-12. “Washington’s schedule is such that their best win will be at Stanford (on Nov. 10). I don’t know if Stanford would be a Top 25 team. If USC loses at Notre Dame, which is something Georgia would want to have happen, I can’t imagine how one-loss Washington or Washington State would be in over Georgia.”

As for Notre Dame, which Georgia beat 20-19 in South Bend: “Everything that would be good for Notre Dame is just as good for Georgia. You cannot take Notre Dame over Georgia.”

Therein we see the path for Georgia’s playoff inclusion as a 12-1 SEC runner-up: A two-loss Big 12 champ and a one-loss Pac-12 champ with a weak schedule (though Washington fit that bill last year and made it). We’ve just seen the committee make room for a non-champ. If we assume that the SEC champ, the ACC champ and one Big Ten team make the field – that has been the template three years running – that still leaves one spot.

If Oklahoma is the Big 12 champ at 12-1, Georgia probably loses that head-to-head comparison. (Oklahoma did win at Ohio State.) If Washington is the Pac-12 champ at 12-1, Georgia would stand a chance. For all the committee’s emphasis on conference titles, its overarching mission is to find the four best teams. On Dec. 3, Georgia could be among that number.*

(*Boilerplate asterisk: Unless the Bulldogs blow it in Jacksonville. Then forget, yet again, we ever had this conversation.)

Reader Comments 0

222 comments
OH:IO
OH:IO

"If not for the injury, Eason may have produced the same results as Fromm, perhaps even better. That’s not knowable."

-Seth, dog local interest


Now there is insightful crack reporting! 

Grant1296
Grant1296

More like

-Seth, Techeye local interest

tipstotips
tipstotips

Paul Johnson: “For right now, if we can recruit a guy that we deem can make it, then we can bring him in,” Johnson said. “Now, I would imagine if we have several guys flunk out, that’ll stop, because that’s how it got stopped before.”

Mulk
Mulk

@tipstotips Tips, 


Don't skip over the "we deem can make it" part. He is just saying that they are trusting him right now. Some screening has to take place. 


Again, I am not in the rigorous academic camp.

tipstotips
tipstotips

@Mulk @tipstotips That's assumed in my comment. Anyone he wants. Of course there is some screening. There is everywhere. And, the same article notes that 20% of GT players are non qualifiers.

Mulk
Mulk

@tipstotips @Mulk Anyone he deems can make it - not anyone he wants. For comparison, what is UGAG's?

Mulk
Mulk

@tipstotips @Mulk Not implying that you do but 20% anywhere is high. Just wanted to see the article. 


Do you remember UGAG's number? Are these NCAA clearing house non qualifiers?

tipstotips
tipstotips

Tech qualifier, not NCAA. No school can admit NCAA nons. They go judo. Sorry for the confusion.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Mulk

Yeah, I'd like to see 'em, too, but coming out of TOJ's objective mouth, that's hardly likely.

OH:IO
OH:IO

I must have missed the memo where playoff spots and championship trophies are awarded in October.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@FlatTire @OH:IO

NOT oh:io! In fact, he's had us losing every game so far this year.

There's a lying hypocrite for you.

Grant1296
Grant1296

You've missed a lot more than a memo Techeye..

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Ms. Garrett aka mental problem wants to talk facts.

#4

Undefeated

Playoff contender

Flag planted

Irrelevant

2017

You keep deflecting and obsessing.

When the world doesn't seem to be living up to dreams it all about the facts of life. Just ask mental problem.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Another day and the facts remain the same:


dogs are not in THE playoff


dogs have not won the SEC! SEC! in a decade


dogs have not won a NC since last century. 


Facts are stubborn. 

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

UGA ranked 4th FACT

UGA undefeated FACT

OSU flag planted FACT

OSU irrelevant FACT

Iowa State > OSU FACT

Ask Ms Garrett because those are the facts of life mental problem.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@OH:IO 2-17;  someone call the media for more votes 

Mulk
Mulk

@twelveofthirteen Twelve,


Vegas has released odds on winning the National Championship. Ohio St. is 6-1 odds and UGAG is 20-1.


Not sure how they arrive at those odds but they are probably more credible than the AP poll or The Committee. All 3 are self serving but Vegas seems to be free of geographic bias or politics (unless they are already factored in)


Anyway, now, is a good time to get your money down.

Grant1296
Grant1296

Naaaa...Ya need to hold off on OSU... you'll be getting 100 (or more) to 1 soon...

Mulk
Mulk

I would trust Vegas's SOS if they publish one? Again, I am sure that they look at their own handicapping criteria instead of the AP poll or The Committee.


It is their world. If you disagree with them, now is the time to get your bet down.

Grant1296
Grant1296

Lines change daily Mulk.

I'm sure you realize it doesn't have a lot to do with how good (or bad) a team is..

Mulk
Mulk

@Grant1296 Vegas odds have a lot to do with how good or bad teams are. Hence, the odds/spreads are created to encourage betting.


Lines do change daily but you can lock in this 20-1 odd right now if you think it is wrong or will move in a different direction regarding UGAG.


My point is I believe that it is a more credible source than say an AP poll. And, 20-1 means that they think UGAG is a good football team. Evidently, they think that Ohio St.'s chances are better.

Grant1296
Grant1296

I agree..But, on futures odds like that,it has more to do with opponents strength than a particular team..OSU doesn't have to beat Alabama to get in...

That's the basic difference on why one set of odds are higher than another..

Grant1296
Grant1296

Check The OSU futures after Penn State takes them behind the wood shed..

Mulk
Mulk

@Grant1296 Good point. One team's path might be easier. And, Bama's is a lot easier. Bama does have the best odds of winning. That weak a&& conference thing again.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Mulk

They and most of the media always think ohio state's chances are better--and far more often than not, they're dead wrong.

Mulk
Mulk

@DawgNole @Mulk They do handicapping for a living. Their goal is to get betting from both sides so it behooves them to set it as closely as possible.


You know how it works. They don't really care. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Mulk

When you're consistently overrated for decades, somebody really cares.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Iowa State > OSU

This week, this month and this year!

#2017

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Raise your hand if your team has vacated, been bowl banned, supplied free tats or been flag planted this decade and this century!

#4 and you aren't even top 5.

Embarrassed at the shuuuuuuuu!

You are Irrelevant!

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Avatar for DawgNole

DawgNole

8 hours ago

@TOJacket

Juvenile???

Ridiculous???

Looks like it's time to revisit a sampling your mature contributions again, gutless hypocrite:

_____________

TOJacket August 21, 2017

It starts Labor Day evening when the Jackets sting those hillbilly's!

TOJacket August 18, 2017

We're on the verge of being 4-0 against the vaunted SEC Least in one year...piece of cake!

TOJacket August 17, 2017

I figure after we beat the Vols we will actually be SEC Least champs?...4 in a row baby!!

TOJacket July 23, 2017

. . . Oh and after we dazzle the Vols we will be SEC Least champs probably. We been pounding on the SEC recently.

Mulk
Mulk

@twelveofthirteen Dognole,


Finally, he recognizes your research (I guess). But, are you authorizing and encouraging use of your research to Thirteen because of your close relationship?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Mulk

No relationship there. Just a fellow Dawg who's wearied of the lying hypocrite oh:io and the gutless hypocrite TOJ.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Vacated, probation, bowl ban, free tats.

This decade and this century

Iowa State > OSU

OH:IO
OH:IO

And still, it's been a decade and a century. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

@OH:IO it will be more than a century before your team improves on that abysmal 2-17 record vs real southern football

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Grant1296: "Techeye living in the past . . . ."

___________

After sniping endlessly at anyone who dared say something negative about his team from years past.

That's what makes for a lying hypocrite.

Grant1296
Grant1296

He's sure as hell sniping now.

What's really funny , bring up ND(at least at this point in the season) he goes silent...

He bangs his head against the wall for an hour or two, then he runs to his precious DAWG BLOG and starts spewing,

"Mississippi State"

"Mississippi State"

Grant1296
Grant1296

This is pure entertainment...

Techeye living in the past.. last year, last decade, last century.. he's staring at his computer screen all bug eyed, talking to himself...

"Shoulda woulda coulda "

"Shoulda woulda coulda "

It's 2017 moron.. UGA has a decent team, and OSU just isn't that good...

TOJacket
TOJacket

Nice to see ole Grant. Here early everyday. Only took the dawgs winning on a regular basis. Fair weather?

Grant1296
Grant1296

Yep, looks like they're having trouble scoring points, at least against a real defense...

TOJacket
TOJacket

Got a little attitude to go with his new found bravado. Kirby got him following the process!! Haha!!

Grant1296
Grant1296

I was here before the App State game Caryd...

Now you've gone and hurt my delicate feelings, I thought my attitude had improved tremendously..

Show me one time I've ever said UGA was gonna win anything..

You and your big sister, on the other hand have made many bold predictions...

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Grant1296: "You and your big sister, on the other hand have made many bold predictions..."

____________

And many ignorant, hate-fueled ones--far too many between them to post here, dadgumit.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Grant1296 Speaking more about attitude and I'm certainly sorry about hurting your feelings...and you know since at least November of last year you have been scarce...but that is the norm for most dawg posters after they lose to Tech...no problem buddy.

Grant1296
Grant1296

Kinda think it was before November, but who knows, my memory (and my attitude) come and go these days...