Are the Georgia Bulldogs “alive” in the College Football Playoff race?


When the Georgia Bulldogs were unceremoniously blasted by the Florida Gators in Jacksonville, the general consensus was that Mark Richt’s team was “dead in the water” with regard to the inaugural College Football Playoff. That loss represented the second defeat of the 2014 season for the Dawgs, and that is usually the death blow for any national championship consideration. However, there could be faint life for UGA if all goes according to plan.

First things first, the Georgia Bulldogs currently rank 15th in the rankings put forth by the playoff committee. At first glance, this would appear to be devastating to any faint hopes of a berth in the four-team event, especially when UGA trails other two-loss programs like Ole Miss, UCLA, Michigan State, Kansas State and Arizona. There is some reason for optimism, though, and that comes in the form of the schedule.

The Bulldogs must first take care of their own business, and that means winning out in the regular season. A home win over Auburn would (obviously) make waves with regard to national perception, and in addition to that, it certainly helps Georgia that Georgia Tech is garnering real respect as the 22nd-ranked team in the country. Dispatching of both the Tigers and Yellow Jackets would go a long way toward compiling respect, but at the same time, Georgia desperately needs help from Missouri (in the form of a loss) in order to reach the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

This is the big one, as Georgia would theoretically be facing a consensus top-5 team from the SEC West, whether it be Mississippi State, Alabama or Ole Miss. Getting a win in that spot would do wonders in the rankings, and if we assume (and this is a BIG assumption) that the Dawgs run the table with an 11-2 record that includes wins over Auburn, Georgia Tech and the SEC West champion, the resume looks fairly impressive.

With all of this said, Mark Richt and company are going to need a lot of help, even if the team manages to win out.

A 2-loss SEC champion would likely get the benefit of the doubt more so than any other league, but in the same breath, that likely won’t be the case if there are four deserving candidates elsewhere. In this scenario, Georgia fans should be rooting for a 2-loss champion in either the Big 12 or Big Ten (or both), and it certainly would not hurt if Florida State (finally) suffered a defeat along the way. There are specific scenarios to come, and we will evaluate them if UGA takes care of business, but there is plenty of food for thought here.

The SEC Championship has seemingly been the lone goal since the frustrating performance against Florida, but there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel… if you squint hard enough.