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Playoff Rankings Rapid Reaction

Another week, another set of rankings. Ohio State has justifiably fallen from the ranks of the playoff participants-elect. Cincinnati remains in with only a date with Houston in the AAC title game between them and history as the first G5 playoff participant. And Michigan rocketed into the #2 spot like Jim Harbaugh on his way to camp out under a five star recruit’s bedroom window.

Once again, our staff has a few thoughts.

MaconDawg: I’m just gonna leave this here. You know, for future reference.

But I jest. If the favorites just take care of business in the Big Ten, Big XII, SEC, and AAC championship games then Michigan will be in at #2, likely playing Oklahoma State, and Georgia will be facing the Cincinnati Bearcats in the committee’s bid to shut G5 folks up for good. I mean, it’s not like things have gone unpredictably so far this year. Things will probably play out just the way we expect. It’s fine.

RedCrake: This week, I’m just gonna stick to the Top 7 because I think we all know the teams #8-25 have essentially no shot to make the playoff. I mean, sure, I could probably concoct a scenario where a squad outside the Top 7 makes it in, but I have a better shot of getting a date with Zoe Saldaña than one of those has of coming to fruition (And if, by some chance that did happen, don’t worry... my wife said it’s ok. Now I just have to make sure she never gets any face time with Alexander Skarsgård).

Your #1 Georgia Bulldogs are, of course, right where they belong. I just never get tired of saying that. I hope I can continue to do so, and I think I will be able to (in case you were unsure of my thoughts about Saturday’s SECCG).

Ohio State is at #7. They are going to need a whole lot of strange things to happen for them to make it in. It’s been a strange season, but I very much doubt it’s going to get that strange. Notre Dame is #6. They need help, but if anything unexpected happens, you can expect your Saturday evening and Sunday morning to be chock full of media figures stumping for the Irish. Whether or not that makes any difference remains to be seen. Oklahoma State is sitting at #5. If Georgia wins the SEC and the Cowboys take care of business, they’re in. It’s probably as good a position you could ask for as a #5 team going into Championship Saturday.

Cincinnati are the last team making the playoff if it was held today, slotting in at #4. Take care of business against Houston and all the belly-aching should come to an end. Now, can Cincinnati do that? They certainly can. But they have spent the last month plus struggling at times against far-inferior competition, so how will they do against another quality team? Alabama comes in at #3. In my highly unbiased opinion, that’s based on history and not this season and the other teams in contention stumbling along the way. Michigan is your #2 team. I don’t think they’re a real #2 team... but I also didn’t think Ohio State was. Shows how much I know. Wait...

Dawg_Stats And then there were 6. There are six teams with a path to the playoff. If the favorites win, UGA will face Cincinnati and Michigan and Oklahoma State will face off. Yes, Cowboys will jump Bearcats in final week in that scenario. ESPN would love a rematch of last year’s Peach Bowl and that game is a data point for the committee to select a G5 team in this year’s playoff.

Every fanbase in the country outside of Tuscaloosa and Gainesville will be rooting for Georgia. Certainly. A Georgia win opens up the 3 or 4 seed for the Cowboys and/or Notre Dame. Should the outcome which I will not speak of occur, Georgia could face the Wolverines as the 4 seed. It’s a dicey spot for the Bulldogs should they end up as SEC Runners Up. Look at this committee and tell me why we think this is how we should pick 4 playofff teams.

· Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky athletics director

· Gary Barta, Iowa athletics director (Chair)

· Paola Boivin, Arizona State professor

· Tom Burman, Wyoming athletics director

· Charlie Cobb, Georgia State athletics director

· Boo Corrigan, NC State athletics director

· Rick George, Colorado athletics director

· Will Shields, former Nebraska offensive lineman

· Gene Taylor, Kansas State athletics director

· Joe Taylor, VP for Athletics and Community Wellness, Virginia Union University

· John Urschel, former Penn State offensive lineman

· Rod West, group president Entergy Corporation

· Tyrone Willingham, former head coach at Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington

DavetheDawg So, as we look at the penultimate rankings prior to the CFP seeding, who has Georgia played? Well, Kentucky, Arkansas and Clemson are ranked after all. Damn, Florida. You’ve dinged our strength of schedule. Booger eaters. Texas A&M should not be ranked in my opinion as they have turned in another Jimbo-Tastic 8-4 season. Bama deserves to be knocked down a spot at #3 after struggling at Auburn and losing to TAMU. If Bama were to lose a close game to us on Saturday, I think they should drop out completely - largely based on the loss to A&M.

I have a feeling there there will be some more chaos before the end of the weekend and wonder if Michigan might be ripe for an emotional let-down. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Wolverines struggle. I think they’re overrated at #2. Conversely, look for Houston to give #4 Cincinnati a game. There will be some very compelling conference championship matchups for sure. Notre Dame? How weird a situation is this? Is Gerry Faust still around? Join a conference. Do.Not.Want.

Georgia is on a mission. At this point, let’s just get this thing on, get that damned elephant- sized monkey off our backs, continue to get healthy and keep moving forward.

Metrics for the Committee Ranked Teams
National Ranks for the Top 25

Lugnut Dawg: The fact is Georgia can write its own narrative even more. It doesn’t just have a shot to beat Alabama, it can make sure the Crimson Tide are marred with being defending champs not even in the playoffs.

Michigan scares me. A team that finally got over its big hump is dangerous.

JasonisaSmith: I am going to say something to you now.

I know you’ve scrolled through all these takes feeling good and regular and listening to the nice and sensible opinions of my peers. And you are not ready for earnestness or feeling. But I need to tell you something, something I’ve been wanting to write for most of this horrific spacewalk of a pandemic. Something I’ve wondered if I could even form with my mouth after all of this. Something I don’t think my tongue will let fall out of my throat. So I am going to type it instead.

I….

I want to believe.

I think I am ready to believe.

I don’t yet. That would be suicide. That would go against everything that I am.

But there is part of me now that is bigger, that has grown like the Grinch’s heart ten times its original size, that I didn’t want to acknowledge in August, that I choked down in September, but that I could no longer ignore come November.

I look at a potential playoff of us, Michigan, Cincy, and Oklahoma St/Notre Dame and think, “we are going to beat the living hell out of these teams.”

Michigan is just us with a worse defense and a far worse quarterback. We beat a better Cincy team than this one with a bargain bin version of what we are now. And Ok State is only here because Oklahoma is having its worst season in probably a decade. And Notre Dame, well, they’re doing whatever the Catholic version of setting couches on fire outside of Neyland is.

There is only one enemy left to be defeated.

And we all knew it would always be them.

The last enemy to be defeated is the Process. The Clock. Death. Bama.

But I see inefficiencies in the Process. I see skips in the tick of the Clock. I see an Offensive Line that we are going to absolutely maul unless my eyes have been lying to me this entire season.

I see……I see the End.

It is fitting that UGA will have to do this during Advent because this season is about the end of the world. Most people think the Christmas season is about triumph and celebration and fuzzy feelings but Advent in the liturgical churches is about God’s winnowing fork and the long-awaited judgment and the tearing asunder of a World that is beyond praying for. It is about a birth only in so far as a birth is the beginning of a whole new order of things. It is about a beginning only in so far as the beginning is a beginning of the end.

There’s this exchange in Thin Red Line I’ve always loved. Welsh, the commanding officer, is going over the myriad of offenses Witt, a soldier who has just been caught after going AWOL, has committed. After chastising him for not being fully committed to his platoon and his company, Welsh says, “In this world, a man himself is nothing. And there ain’t no world but this one.” And then Witt, having just been pulled from the island home of a tribe of Pacific Islanders, hearing their music, playing with their children, swimming in the ocean without care, responds:

“You’re wrong there. I’ve seen another world.”

I write that stupid ass quote and the only thing I can think about is Carol (aka Podunkdawg) and all the others we have loved who should be here. They should be here to live in this world. They should know that Kirby found a way to make the perfect team. They should be here to see their grandchildren being born and the miracle of this vaccine and people hugging one another at tailgates without fear. They should be here. But that cannot be put back, can it?

I watch this team and I think I want to believe.

Anyway, this is supposed to be an instant reaction post about the rankings so I guess I’ll say Iowa shouldn’t be ranked and dumping UTSA out of the rankings for TAMU is insane. This is all still very dumb.

Steel yourselves, dear ones. Saturday is Judgment Day.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!