If Georgia Wins The SEC, Alabama Should Not Be Considered A Playoff Lock

If Georgia Wins The SEC, Alabama Should Not Be Considered A Playoff Lock

Football

If Georgia Wins The SEC, Alabama Should Not Be Considered A Playoff Lock


This Saturday, Alabama (No. 1, 12-0) and Georgia (No. 4, 11-1) square off in the SEC Championship Game from Atlanta.

For Georgia, the Bulldogs need to win to be assured of a spot in the College Football Playoff.

For Alabama, it’s a little more complicated. If the Tide win, they are obviously in as the No. 1 seed. But what if they lose? It has become the general consensus that no matter what happens in Atlanta, Alabama is making the playoff.

But why? Because it is Alabama? If Georgia wins this weekend, the Tide have no business being in the four team playoff.

So, assuming Georgia wins, let’s look at what SHOULD happen.

If Ohio State (vs Northwestern) and Oklahoma (vs Texas) both win this weekend in their respective conference championship games, we would have four teams sitting at 12-1, all looking for a spot in the playoff.

Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Alabama.

Georgia would be the obvious selection as one of the four seeds, leaving one more opening. (Clemson – assuming it beats Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship – and Notre Dame would be the other two in.)

Out of the three remaining teams, one does not look like the other. That one is Alabama, and it’s not a good thing. The Tide would be the only team to have lost in its conference championship game.

But then again Notre Dame also would not have won a conference championship game and, to be honest, I think should be left out of the discussion altogether. 

In the four years of the College Football Playoff, no team that has lost in the conference championship has made the final four. Don’t let that confuse you with teams that did not participate in their conference championship yet still made it in (Alabama 2017 and Ohio State 2016).

For Alabama potentially not winning the SEC in consecutive years, but making the playoff in both years would be an injustice to college football fans across the country. College football’s mantra “every game is important”, would definitely ring hollow among the other Power 5 conferences.

Just because it is “Alabama” and their history dictates a bit of respect, should no longer be a good enough reason to be an automatic selection to the playoff.

What about a little something called “strength of schedule,” which the committee claims to be extremely important.

When looking at strength of schedule of the expected teams that would be vying for a playoff spot, Alabama comes in dead last.

Ranking the strength of schedule (SOS) of Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma, the Crimson Tide’s SOS doesn’t help their cause.

According to SOS:

No. 25: Georgia

No. 34: Oklahoma

No. 48: Ohio State

No. 58: Alabama

Diving even deeper into the rankings and dissecting the SOS among the current top-25 teams, Alabama’s strength of schedule is actually the sixth lowest in the latest AP Top-25 poll.

One team with a lower SOS than Alabama is UCF. Sitting at 12-0, the Knights have their own conference championship game coming up this weekend against Memphis. Currently, UCF’s SOS is ranked 107th, compared to Alabama’s 58.

If the Knights win and the Tide lose on Saturday, some may argue that even UCF should be given a better chance of making the playoff than Alabama. I do not believe UCF would get the nod over Oklahoma or Ohio State, but consider these facts as to why UCF should be in over Bama.

The Knights would be conference champions.

They would be 13-0.

They would still have a lower SOS, but Alabama’s SOS would also be worse than Ohio State’s and Oklahoma’s. Sooooo, if UCF did not make it over Alabama due to SOS, how could the committee be willing to let Bama in over the Buckeyes or the Sooners?

Ok, so, if this scenario holds true and Georgia beats the Tide, Alabama has no business being in the playoff.

And the more everyone continues to say “well, it does not matter what happens because Alabama is in anyway,” the more likely the committee is to admit Bama into the playoff. It will just become a norm and the committee would face minimal backlash.

The Tide would not have won their conference championship and they would be falling behind in terms of SOS.

So, other than being “Alabama,” they would have no reason being selected to the playoff.

But then again, Georgia has to beat them or all the preceding is null and void.

And that’s a whole ‘nother story.

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