All the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs needed to do for a shot at a three-peat, was knock off No. 8 Alabama in the SEC Championship game, but that proved to be too tall an order. Jalen Milroe led the Crimson Tide to a 27-24 win in Atlanta and clinched the game with his legs, but both teams looked worthy of making the College Football Playoff.
Just about every scenario is still on the table with No. 4 Florida State facing No. 14 Louisville in the ACC title game on Saturday night, including one with no SEC teams. The committee has stuck Bama at No. 8 because of its loss to Texas back in Week 2, so if FSU wins the committee could put in Michigan, Washington, Florida State, and Texas.
However, Alabama might have the best win of the season now. That previous belonged to Texas beating the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. So, is Alabama’s win over Georgia better than Texas’s win over Bama, or does Bama’s SEC title make Texas’s win even better? Who knows.
One thing I do know is that the CFP committee is rooting for Louisville to knock off FSU, which would allow Bama to slide in at No. 4, right behind Texas. You have to squint even harder to see the scenarios in which Georgia actually makes its way into that top four, but that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs don’t deserve it.
Georgia hadn’t lost a game since the 2021 SEC Championship to Alabama, and cruised through the SEC this season. It’s hard to imagine a better loss on a resume than losing by three to Nick Saban and Alabama. The Bulldogs probably won’t get a chance to play for another national championship because of a questionable catch on fourth-and-four in the first half, and a false start that moved a field goal attempt back five yards. That’s tough to swallow and might be the best possible case for the expanded 12-team playoff.
With games like this one, and Ohio State/Michigan last weekend, it feels like we’ve already made it to the expanded playoff, because both of those were elimination games between fierce rivals, deserving of a shot to win it all.