The University of Georgia has the worst loss of any Top Ten team.
That’s the first truth you need to keep in mind when the College Football Committee releases its first set of rankings tonight on ESPN.
UGA has the worst loss in a year where all we’ve heard from the Committee is that it is about résumé. To hell with the “eye test,” it is about what you do on the field—who is on your schedule and how did you perform against them? That’s it. That’s the whole thing. (Allegedly).
An emphasis on résumé will create some pretty fun storylines tonight:
- Where will the committee rank LSU with its wins over Texas on the road, Florida at home, and Auburn at home?
- Where do Clemson and Bama—who arguably have less impressive wins thus far than Ohio State, Penn State, and others—end up?
- How high does Ohio State—the darlings of the eye test—rise up on account of their one quality win over Wisconsin (who then lost to Illinois)?
- Oregon, very sneakily, is suddenly 8-1 with their only loss coming in the 4th quarter against Auburn Jesus on a neutral field. Where are they?
- How high do you put those “other” undefeated’s like Baylor and Minnesota?
All of these will be fun questions that we get to find out the answers to tonight, as slowly as humanly possible, live on ESPN.
But I think the Dawgs should prepare to be in the bottom of the Top Ten and they should prepare to have teams in front of them that haven’t been ahead of them in the polls all year. They should not be ranked in the Top Five and, really, they shouldn’t even be within three spots of it.
Let’s just assume that the top four are some combination of LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, and Bama. Probably in that order, but who knows. That’s the top four.
Where do the Dawgs land after that?
They certainly won’t be ranked ahead of Penn State, who remain undefeated, so the highest they could conceivably be ranked is #6. If they are #6 then that hints at the very very slight possibility that two things are two: 1.) the committee values the win over Notre Dame and 2.) a two-loss UGA that is also an SEC Champion has an infinitesimal chance of sneaking into the CFP should utter chaos ensue.
For my money, that’s really the only truly WILD scenario that remains on the cards for the Committee—what do you do with the following set: Bama loses to LSU, UGA loses to Auburn, LSU wins out but loses to a two-loss UGA in the SECCG.
Now you have a 10-2 UGA team with LSU and Bama both being non-conf champions but only having one loss. A higher ranked UGA tonight could hint that the committee values their potential wins pretty highly—high enough even to put in a two-loss UGA team if they beat a #1 or #2 ranked LSU/Bama.
But I don’t think UGA should be ranked anywhere near that high.
Oregon and Oklahoma have better losses than UGA, similar quality wins, and have, frankly, looked far better on offense the entire year. Oregon lost to Auburn on a neutral site. Oklahoma lost on the road to a KState team that has already beaten a member of the SEC and will probably finish the year in the Top 25. It’s six of one half a dozen of the other whether one of UGA’s best wins will manage to do that.
Just sayin, Notre Dame looks like a team ready to come all the way apart.
Utah’s loss doesn’t look good, but it was on the road and they have some good wins on their schedule. Here the question becomes more of a pick’em and it wouldn’t surprise me to see UGA ranked just above Utah or just below them.
But then the real wildcard questions come in—what do the committee do with an undefeated Baylor and an undefeated Minnesota? Both of these teams will surely be in if they win out. They haven’t had a blemish, while UGA surely has. But the real meat of their schedule is still to come. They have the best résumé they could possibly have right now. What else are they supposed to do? It is not as if they don’t have good schedules. They just haven’t got to the good part yet. What do the committee do?
It is entirely possible we could see something like this: 1. LSU 2. tOSU 3. Clemson 4. Bama 5. PSU 6. Oregon 7. Oklahoma 8. Utah 9. Baylor 10. UGA.
Or you could even (gasp) see Minnesota row that damn boat right into the 10 spot and drop UGA to 11.
All and any of that, I’m trying to say, would be justified.
Now would any of it really matter?
No. Not at all.
If UGA wins out, we’re in the Playoff.
If UGA losses again, wins in ATL, and all hell breaks loose we could still be in.
The point is win your games.
But don’t be surprised if the committee chooses to send a message tonight: losing at home to an unranked team will require something special to get in.
The good news? If ever there was a man who can turn a silly non-sleight that is entirely based in our own dumb crap and turn it into pure, hate-distilled us-against-the-world revenge fuel, it is our large adult son, Kirby Smart.
By punishing us, the Committee is probably giving us a tremendous gift.