College Sports

Here are scenarios of how the Georgia Bulldogs can make the College Football Playoff

In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Georgia running back Prather Hudson (24), Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, center, and Georgia center Lamont Gaillard (53) take the field before the College Football Playoff National Championship game against Alabama in Atlanta. Neither No. 1 Alabama nor No. 4 Georgia is anxiously awaiting their playoff fates this season, but whoever wins the SEC championship game showdown is definitely in the playoffs. The Crimson Tide could even get in with a close loss.
In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Georgia running back Prather Hudson (24), Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, center, and Georgia center Lamont Gaillard (53) take the field before the College Football Playoff National Championship game against Alabama in Atlanta. Neither No. 1 Alabama nor No. 4 Georgia is anxiously awaiting their playoff fates this season, but whoever wins the SEC championship game showdown is definitely in the playoffs. The Crimson Tide could even get in with a close loss. AP

The rematch of last year’s thrilling overtime national championship game is days away.

Not only can Georgia enact a little revenge for last year’s loss to Alabama, but the Bulldogs can control their own playoff fate with a win.

UGA ranks fourth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, which were unveiled Tuesday night. With undefeated Notre Dame already finished with the regular season and likely guaranteed a playoff berth, there are three spots up for grabs in conference title games this weekend.

There are plenty of scenarios for the ‘Dawgs to punch their ticket.

Let’s start with the obvious and most basic and go from there:

Beating Alabama

Winning the SEC championship over this season’s No. 1-ranked team, the Crimson Tide, assures Georgia a spot no matter what happens elsewhere Saturday. No other team would have a bigger signature win than the Bulldogs and a one-loss SEC champion would get one of the three remaining spots.

Losing a close game to Alabama

Hypothetically, let’s say Alabama wins like it did in last season’s national title game, a touchdown in overtime, or with a last-second field goal. Basically, Alabama is pushed right to the limit like no other team has done this season, and wins a close game with Georgia. The CFP committee might factor that into keeping Georgia in the top four, regardless of the other conference title games Saturday.

Losing to Alabama by two touchdowns

A two-touchdown loss to the Crimson Tide would require Georgia to need some help. In this scenario, the Bulldogs would need Northwestern to defeat Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and Texas to defeat Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. Georgia would still have a case over a Texas team with two of its three losses coming against Maryland and Oklahoma State as well as a two-loss Michigan team that didn’t qualify for the Big Ten title game or a three-loss Pac-12 champion should Washington defeat Utah. The only potential wild card in this scenario is unbeaten UCF, but the CFP committee hasn’t shown a willingness to include the Knights at the playoff table yet.

However, the Bulldogs might need Pittsburgh to knock off Clemson in the ACC title game just to make sure an Alabama loss can keep them in the conversation for a playoff spot.

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