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Can Georgia make 2021 College Football Playoff with loss to Alabama?

Could the Bulldogs be out of the playoff with a loss?

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Alabama
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett drops back to pass during warmups before the SEC championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Update 7:47 pm: No. 3 Alabama beats No. 1 Georgia 41-24.

Alabama is likely the No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff. If Michigan beats Iowa as expected in the Big Ten Championship Game, they’re the No. 2 seed. And then Cincinnati and Georgia are the last two teams in some order.

You might see Georgia as the No. 3 team even if they’re not necessarily deserving based on this performance and their best win this season being over Auburn, but it seems less likely the selection committee will put a rematch of this game together in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

Update 7:06 pm: WELP.

The Dawgs currently trail Alabam 38-17 with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, and right now you wouldn’t trust Stetson Bennett to win a high school title in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, much less the SEC or a national championship.

But with Baylor knocking off Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship earlier today, it’s likely UGA is still in the clear here. The Bears weren’t exactly impressive in their 21-16 victory, and having Notre Dame overtake Georgia after this performance seems unlikely.

Right now it appears to be Alabama, Michigan (pending the Big Ten Championship tonight), Cincinnati, and Georgia. You can put No. 3 and No. 4 in the order of your choosing, but we bet the committee might find a way to make it No. 3 to keep the semifinal from simply being a rematch of this beating in Atlanta.


Could the Georgia Bulldogs be out of the College Football Playoff if they lose to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC championship game? The Bulldogs are currently No. 1 in the CFP rankings, while Alabama is No. 3.

Similar to other top ranked teams entering championship weekend in the past, Georgia has already done enough to essentially guarantee a spot in the playoff. Even with a loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs would likely only slide in the rankings slightly but would keep their playoff spot.

What an Alabama win really does is kill all the teams on the outside looking in, such as Notre Dame, Baylor, Ohio State and Oklahoma State. The Crimson Tide already have one loss and had several subpar showings during the season, so a second loss would doom their playoff hopes. A win over Georgia and an SEC title would wash those bad performances away and crush the hopes of the Irish, Bears, Buckeyes and Cowboys. The Bulldogs would still be safe, likely moving to either No. 2 or No. 3 based on other results.