If the College Football Playoff committee does the right thing, both Alabama and Georgia will be sitting at home.
One thing that doesn’t need to be debated is that the College Football Playoff selection committee faces the most difficult task it has faced since the inception of the four-team playoff.
Michigan and Washington are locks to make the College Football Playoff, but as we sit here after championship Saturday, they are the only two teams guaranteed to make it.
Texas made a strong case with a resounding win over Oklahoma State, which was another win over a ranked team away from home. The Longhorns have two this season and both of them came by double digits.
One of those was a 10-point win over Alabama. That’s the result that should have Texas in the College Football Playoff.
It’s the same result that should leave Georgia and Alabama sitting at home. Kirby Smart can argue that his team is one of the four best teams until he’s blue in the face, but unless we decide the games don’t matter, then his argument doesn’t matter.
Why the SEC should be left out of the College Football Playoff
Georgia decided to play a weak non-conference schedule. That put the onus on the Bulldogs to win the SEC title and they failed. They also trailed most of the game and were down by 10 points multiple times in the second half — to a team that Texas beat by 10 on its home field.
And as much as SEC fans might not like it, those games didn’t happen in a vacuum and what you did last season isn’t something the committee should weigh, as much as Greg Sankey, Nick Saban, and Kirby Smart all want them to.
Georgia lost one game by three points, on a neutral field to Alabama. Ohio State lost one game by six points to what will be No. 1 Michigan, on the road. Ohio State also beat Notre Dame on the road and Penn State at home.
Georgia beat Missouri and Ole Miss at home, as well as Tennessee on the road. Those are nice wins, but that’s basically the same resume as Ohio State.
Yes, Georgia is the two-time defending champs and yes, the SEC has won six of nine national championships. But the SEC also performed terribly in the non-conference this season. Florida was trounced by Utah; Texas A&M lost to Miami; Alabama was beaten by Texas; Florida State beat LSU handily, and so on.
Alabama also needed a miracle to beat Auburn and barely beat Arkansas, as well as South Florida. It’s easy for SEC fans to say that Alabama and Georgia are better than Florida State and Texas, but there’s no evidence from the 2023 season to suggest that’s true.
Florida State deserves the chance to be beaten before its shot at a national title is taken away. Remember, Ohio State won a national title with a third-string quarterback, so who is to say Florida State can’t do the same?
All I know is that the Noles beat a top-20 team by double digits, didn’t trail for one minute, and did it all with a third-string freshman. That sounds like a good football team to me.
So as I see it, Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Florida State are the only College Football Playoff Field that makes sense. It would be nice if we could decide it on the field, but we can’t.
That means Alabama and Georiga pay the price for what happened on the field. You can’t ignore head-to-head and with that victory over the SEC champion, Texas put itself in front of the entire SEC in the College Football Playoff pecking order.
Unless we are using results from the last two seasons as the reason why Georgia and Alabama should be included, the committee has to leave them sitting at home.
At least if it dares to do the right thing.