If your a fan of college football, then you probably have a certain team you root for. And not all fans, but most, like to see the conference their team belongs to have success. Its better for recruiting, TV exposure, and just all around bragging rights.
And there’s no conference with more pride then fans of the SEC. And for good reason: The SEC has dominated for two decades now. They have 10 National championships since 2000, and routinely put boat loads of players in to the NFL draft. Theyre the gold standard of what anu conference wants to be.
So if you are a fan of the SEC, what is the dream scenario for the conference in 2019?? What kind of playoff scenario would make the SEC fans feel like their conference is dominant over all other conferences? Well, because of some fluky scheduling, it could all play out like we’ve never seen before.
Texas A&M, Alabama, and Georgia could all make the playoffs.
Lets start with Texas A&M. The Aggies have no doubt, the toughest schedule in the conference.
At Clemson, at Georgia, at LSU, home vs Alabama, home vs Auburn. That’s a gauntlet of a schedule. But, what if they actually beat Clemson on the road? That does two huge things:
1. It knocks Clemson out of the playoffs. If Clemson was to win out after the loss, and win the ACC, it still wouldn’t be enough to climb back in. Assuming the rest of this scenario plays out.
2. Texas A&M has a huge road win that allows them some slack later in the season.
And they’ll need that slack. Because next, in order for the dream scenario to play out, A&M needs to lose to Alabama. This would allow Alabama to win the SEC West. If A&M beat them, Alabama wouldn’t make the conference championship hame, or have a good enough win to keep them in the playoffs.
Alabama is going to have an uphill road to get in to the playoffs in this scenario. Because they have no worthy non conference opponent on the schedule, they’ll have to dominate the conference schedule.
A huge road win against the Aggies, plus a home win vs LSU, and Alabama will be riding high into the SEC championship game number one in the nation. Its really important that they can dominate Auburn, Miss. state, and Tennessee. Because, like A&M, the Tide will need all of the slack they can build up. And brace yourselves Bama fans… they need to lose the SEC championship game.
The last piece of the threesome is the Bulldogs. And they control the fate of the dream scenario.
Georgia holds the keys to this car that drives this thing to the playoffs: If they lose to Notre Dame, this thing is all over. For two reasons:
- Notre Dame could go undefeated otherwise. If Notre Dame beats Georgia, and then Michigan, they’re in the playoffs. We saw it last year; an undefeated Notre Dame gets in. This would definitely keep three SEC schools out of the playoffs.
- If Georgia is going to lose to A&M week 13, they cant afford to lose twice. And the loss to the Aggies will be redeemable two weeks after when they play Alabama in the SEC championship game.
So Georgia and Alabama meet in the SEC championship game. And it’s got to be a close game. Like, a REALLY close game. So close that if you played a rematch 100 times Alabama wins 50 times, Georgia wins 50 times. When Alabama losses, there needs to be enough doubt in the minds of voters as to who the better team is.
So now we have:
- 12-1 Georgia
- 11-1 Texas A&M
- 12-1 Alabama
- 11-1 Notre Dame
- 12-1 Clemson
These records and quality wins should be good enough to get all three SEC teams into the playoffs. Having won huge non conference wins the SEC should have the prestige worthy of keeping three teams in the top four. The only thing holding them back at this point is two undefeated power five teams from other conferences.
If two teams like Ohio State and Oklahoma can go undefeated it would not be good for the SEC. But thankfully for the south East there’s not to many schools they need to worry about.
In the Pac12 I like Oregon, Washington, and Utah, but not that much. Washington and Utah play each other and that’ll knock one of them out. Oregon plays Auburn and Washington. If they can go undefeated they would definitely find a way into the playoffs, but I think USC will be doing some spoiling this fall.
The BIG 10 is similar to the PAC12 in the sense that they could all knock each other out. Michigan is the only team with a chance outside the conference to prove their worth. But if they lose to Notre Dame, then the entire conference could be out. Its gonna take an undefeated BIG10 team to make it in.
The BIG 12 is the most dangerous. Oklahoma has one of the easiest paths to the playoffs. So if they can go undefeated, they would be in. The exact same goes for Texas. The only problem for Texas would be LSU. If LSU could beat the longhorns, it would go a long way to strengthening the SEC. Regardless, if the winner of the Red river shoot out can go undefeated, they’re in.
Two undefeated teams would end the hopes of three SEC teams in the playoffs. But if only one team goes unbeat, then we could see a similar ranking to the 2017 season. That year Alabama got in to the playoffs without playing in the SEC championship game. That would be A&M in this scenario.
That year Auburn lost to Georgia going 10-2 in the regular season. The problem for them was they lost pretty easily to Georgia and lost multiple games.
In this case the rankings going into championship weekend would be
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
So when Georgia beats Bama closely, the playoff rankings would be
- Ohio state
- Texas A&M
How possible is it for this to happen? Do you want this to happen? Join the conversation on Twitter by following us here.
Saturday-Tailgate.com West Virginia/ Big 12 reporter. Cannon joined Saturday Tailgate in 2019. Graduated from Monroe Community College