It is hard to fathom a situation in which the SEC doesn’t get a team into the College Football Playoff. Alabama alone has made the field every single year to this point, and two years ago, the team landed two teams in the four-team field.
That season, Alabama handled Clemson, and Georgia beat Oklahoma, setting up an all-SEC title game. Tua Tagovailoa became a household name, leading Alabama back from a big deficit to capture the national championship.
Alabama may be on the outside looking in after losing to LSU, but it remains very difficult to see a situation in which the SEC isn’t involved in the Playoff this season. The Tigers remain undefeated and in the catbird seat to win the SEC West, with a very manageable three-game run to finish the season.
Georgia took a big blow, losing to South Carolina earlier in the year, but are in the top four right now, thanks to big wins over Florida and Notre Dame.
There is a scenario that would make things pretty sticky for the league, though. ESPN outlined the SEC”s “worst case scenario,” and it is pretty straight forward: Auburn beats Georgia on Saturday, two-loss Georgia beats LSU in the SEC title game, and throw in an Auburn Iron Bowl upset of Alabama.
“The SEC is left out because Georgia finishes as a two-loss conference champion with a win over LSU in the title game. Georgia can lose to Auburn this week but still win the SEC. Then what? It would be interesting to see how far Georgia would fall in the committee’s third CFP rankings if it loses this week and picks up a second loss. Would a win over LSU in the SEC title game be enough to catapult the Dawgs back into the top four? Would the committee still take LSU? Would it take them both? Debates would spark on every side of it, as the committee has never taken a two-loss conference champion before — and the SEC has never been left out.
“Add this scenario in to further complicate it: Not only does Georgia lose to Auburn, but so does Alabama. Two-loss Auburn would then have two top-five wins, including against the SEC champ. What?! How high would Auburn climb, and would there be three Tigers in the top four (LSU, Auburn and Clemson)?”
Even in this scenario, there’s a very good chance one-loss LSU would get in, with that only loss coming against Georgia. You probably couldn’t rule out two-loss Georgia either. Back in 2017, if two-loss Auburn, which beat Alabama to get to the SEC title game, had knocked off Georgia in the SEC Championship, most believed the Tigers would have reached the College Football Playoff.
The CFP is still very young, and we have pretty unique situations come up every year or two. Just because something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it never will.