I am going to paint a scenario where the SEC gets shut out of the first ever NCAA college football playoffs. SEC fans think it’s their divine right to have one of their own in every championship game. But now 4 teams make the playoffs. So these same SEC fans can say the opposite and paint a picture where all 4 teams are from the SEC. Realistically that won’t happen.
Now only one team can say they are SEC champions. If the argument is that how can a team not win it’s conference get into the playoffs what is the Notre Dame argument. If ND runs the table they will be in the playoffs. SEC fans can say ND didn’t win a conference so how are they in over a team from the SEC the best conference despite having one loss. Does the loser of the SEC championship team which could be either one of these 2 current undefeated teams Mississippi State or Ole Miss make it in the playoffs. Despite losing the last game they played in. Normally if you lose the last week or even late in the season your in trouble as you don’t have any games left to build your ranking back up.
Or do the SEC teams just pick each other off every week making it difficult to have multiple one loss teams. The normal power 4 teams are Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia. But now you have MSU and Ole Miss having big seasons. Also let’s not forget the absence of computer rankings which always helped the SEC especially in strength of schedule. We have real people picking these teams so that makes it more likely that SEC gets shut out with only the most 2 teams selected.
I am going to paint a scenario where it’s possible the SEC gets shut out of the playoffs. Now a lot of things have to happen and I wouldn’t bet on every single outcome of the games I will highlight below happening but it is extremely possible. Florida State is the real wild card here as well. If Jaemis Winston stays on the field FSU should win out. But what happens if Winston gets suspended for a game or two and FSU loses both. Does the committee take that into consideration knowing he will be active for the playoffs. It’s not like he would be an injured player who is questionable to return.
I am going to focus on the 6 SEC teams I mentioned above with Florida State, Notre Dame and also Oregon and Michigan State. My scenario consists of all 4 non SEC teams running the table which is certainly possible. The Seminoles will be undefeated and automatic assuming Winston stays on the field. Oregon which will have avenged an early season loss to finish with one loss. The Irish which would have only the road loss to the undefeated defending champions in a game where they were the better team and should have won. Plus with 2 road games left vs Arizona State and USC those are victories to give them more prestige. Michigan State who’s only loss would be at Oregon in September. The game was close at half time and the Spartans would have a victory over Ohio State. Clearly these 4 are the teams in my scenario that make the playoffs.
Now for the SEC teams
Mississippi State currently undefeated and ranked # 1 in the country. With road games against Alabama and Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl those are 2 games they could lose and I will say they lose both.
Ole Miss also undefeated and ranked # 3 in the country. With a road game today vs LSU and 2 home games vs Auburn and Miss State. A LSU win would jump start my prediction but still there are 2 tough games on the horizon.
Alabama with one loss and ranked # 4 in the country. They go to LSU and play both Miss State and Auburn at home. My scenario has Bama winning all 3 games but losing in the SEC championship game to Georgia
Auburn also with one loss and ranked # 5 in the country. With 3 brutal road games left against Miss St Georgia and Alabama I have them winning all except the Alabama game.
Georgia only has a road game at Auburn which I have as a loss but they will go to and win the SEC championship game.
LSU already with 2 losses is done but can play spoiler which is what I need them to do.
What you need to remember is the SEC has a championship game with Georgia most likely one team in the game and there opponent could be any number of 4 teams. To summarize above Miss St and Ole Miss lose 2 regular season games. Bama with a loss already loses their second in the SEC championship game. Auburn with one loss loses to Bama for it’s second loss. Georgia loses to Auburn for its second loss but wins the SEC championship game. That gives all SEC teams 2 losses. And is starts today with LSU defeating Ole Miss. Should Ole Miss win then I would need LSU to give Alabama their second loss with Ole Miss getting their second loss in the SEC championship game.
Now the selection committee will be sitting on 5 2 loss SEC teams which probably are all ranked in the top 15. Florida State which is undefeated and one loss Notre Dame, Michigan State and Oregon. We could be sitting on a rematch in the championship game and I am not sure anyone wants that. But would the committee really shut out the SEC when by overall record the 4 teams above have better ones. 3 of those teams would be conference champions and one Notre Dame does not have a conference but they are Notre Dame. Is this unrealistic. I say no. Improbable maybe. I would have correctly picked the outcome of about 30 or more games here. So I should go to Vegas and lay some bets. But this is something I would love to see happen only to see what the fallout is. A lot has to happen and history tells us there will be upsets along the way. Which then as someone who hates the SEC I will come up with a second theory or scenario.
The first rankings come out this coming week. This should be a fun month and a half.