It was a simpler time when you were in your right mind to cheer for all of your rivals to lose. Georgia took a damaging major hit in the strength of schedule Saturday, as Auburn, Tech and Florida each lost a close game. Our best conference win entering the SEC title game will now be against a team with three losses, if we win out, unless you think (unranked, one-loss) Kentucky will somehow drop no other football contests outside of the battle in Athens November 18th, which would currently be for first in the SEC East. We can drop a game and still stay ahead of Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, the next three strongest programs in our weak division of a weakened league.
There are four historic college football programs that I see annually getting the most media bias, each posing a potential CFP (College Football Playoff) problem for Georgia: Alabama, Notre Dame, USC, Ohio State. The media plainly influences the CFP committee (way too much). Notre Dame could conceivably pass Georgia in this type of public perception sphere should Georgia drop just one game, as every remaining team the (one-loss) Irish face except for one is currently ranked. Only Aubie remains ranked for the Dawgs, and a loss to Georgia would give them three losses and probably un-rank them entering the Iron Bowl. Not to mention that game on the Plains still looks like a tough out; Auburn losing a close early season game at Clemson and having one bad half at LSU are not major signs of weakness. Notre Dame, who we edged early 20-19, actually looks to me to be Georgia’s only win against an ultimately ranked team on the whole regular season according to my schedule projections, and only the final rankings heading into the CFP selection process itself are considered.
They re-rank every week, claiming to do it from scratch weekly, which is obviously an impossible fallacy because they remember. These so-called rankings, strictly and solely the CFP committee opinion-rankings, not based at all on either the formerly important AP or Coaches Polls, are all that matter. Should this varied group from across the country simply feel that Georgia suddenly does not deserve to be one of the four teams, we are out cold. Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC lost early, which “if you are going to lose, lose early” has been a generally true statement in college football for years. Seems to apply less to those four media darlings, but you get the picture. The system is still a joke!
Now, I really get to it. Bama has beaten nobody of note and has only two potentially challenging games ahead, both to two-loss teams. The Tide hosts LSU on 11/4 and visits explosive Auburn 11/25. If one of those teams, unusually of late, miraculously perhaps, gets past Saban’s assassins otherwise unscathed, the West could be represented by a two-loss team, as they’ve each lost out of conference. That team would not give Georgia nearly as good a win as one over Bama would. Alabama, on the SEC outside looking in, would still be an (undeserved maybe) near-lock for fourth in the CFP, in my opinion. I could see the committee slating them at four and then figuring the rest out. Bama made every CFP so far, going out in the opening round once, winning it once, losing the championship game last year. Neither of the losses dampened their public perception, as they were preseason number one coming off penultimately failing campaigns. They were once voted into the two-team championship, as a non-champ of the SEC West, to rematch an LSU team they had lost to at home. Past years aren’t supposed to be considered, but as they simply have the resume during the Saban era to justify it, they always get the benefit of the doubt.
In a weird twist of karmic fate, Mark Richt’s fourth down wins two weeks in a row could unfairly, indirectly impact the national championship. Miami is thriving with Richt’s second season magic on display, undefeated but looking to be two years away from the full peak strength we have seen repeatedly from the program in the past. While their defeat of FSU threw further shade on Alabama’s only would-be quality win so far, the similar win over Georgia Tech, (who Richt now owns a crazy 15-2 record against), more negatively impacted Georgia. We need the quality wins much more because we are nobody’s media darling outside of the largest state east of the Mississippi. Get Bama in Atlanta and a quality win is ensured. Crazy but they could even then actually still pass us in the committee’s eyes, though it’d be too tough to justify if we were undefeated. Of any team, we are perhaps the one that most needs to win out, unfortunately. 15-0 is a tough order to fill.
Sure, as fans we want revenge. We also want the natty.
Look at my preseason projections for the CFP and the current top four. I picked USC, Ohio State, Georgia, and Alabama. Two losses between all of them, after seven games of the UGA season. And, let me say here that I’m stoked to be 7-0. I’m stoked for us to be in Florida next after a bye week. We need no external motivation there after going 6-21 versus UF.
This is bye week type talk, folks. Ohio State and USC are both right there with Georgia and Bama, it’s all still in front of them, with losses. Speaking of karma again in a couple of ways, Penn State beat Ohio State late last year and won the Big 10, but Ohio State still got in (and then got blown out). Penn State is number two in the polls, TCU is fourth. Georgia having defeated each in a bowl game over the last two years. I suppose little TCU is in worse shape than Georgia on the fairness meter, as Penn State won’t be the first team left out by mostly the same people on the committee two years in a row, because these are humans with human nature. If the Frogs drop a game, they are most assuredly done. Could Georgia lose one and still get in?
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