Thursday, August 18

College Football Rankings: What Georgia’s Loss To Alabama Means For Cincinnati, Notre Dame And More

Too much for chalk.

No. 3 Alabama beat No. 1 Georgia 41-24 in the SEC championship game, not only defeating the Bulldogs but also in the college football playoff standings. With that victory, the second surprise of the day, the selection committee faces a slightly more difficult task with its four best teams.

MORE: 10 College Football Playoffs Scenarios, From Chalk to Complete Two-Loss Mayhem

One thing is for sure: Alabama should regain its place as the number one team in the country. And Bryce Young (26 of 44 passes, 421 yards, three touchdowns, 40 rushing yards, one touchdown) may very well have earned the nation’s Heisman Trophy vote. If his 97-yard drive against Auburn wasn’t his Heisman moment, then this performance against the best defense in the nation certainly was.

But what does this loss to Georgia mean for the rest of college football in general? Sporting News breaks down what this result means for the likes of Notre Dame, Cincinnati and more:

Rankings reflect the top 25 of the week 14 college football playoffs

MORE: Notre Dame CFP Scenarios: Can Fighting Irish Make Playoffs With Cincinnati Loss?

Michigan (11-1)

Previous range: 2

Michigan is still alive and well in the playoff race, assuming it defeats No. 13 Iowa in the Big Ten championship. A win there, however, begs the question: Will the Wolverines play No. 3 Georgia in the semifinal? Or does Cincinnati move up one spot, setting up an SEC championship rematch between the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs in the No. 1 vs. No. 4? These are questions that the selection committee must face. Of course, a Michigan loss would further cloud the playoff landscape, creating a potential run between the Wolverines, Baylor and Notre Dame for that fourth and final spot.

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Alabama (12-1)

Previous range: 3

What a difference a week makes. The Crimson Tide, a week after surviving Auburn 6-6 on a last-minute trip, headed to Atlanta and strangled the number one consensus team in the country. That can only result in one thing: Alabama will be the No. 1 team in the country in the final playoff standings. The question again is whether they face Georgia, Cincinnati or some other team in the semifinal.

Cincinnati (13-0)

Previous range: 4

The wait should it’s finally over for Group of 5. Cincinnati, the only undefeated team left in the FBS. The Bearcats did their best to cement their playoff status with a 35-20 record over 11-2 Houston. Considering the Bearcats were the No. 4 team heading into the final week of play, and the dormant status of Notre Dame and the loss of the No. 5 Oklahoma State, the Bearcats should be in. The only question is whether at No. 3 or 4. It’s a historic moment for Cincinnati, the Group of 5, and college football in general.

MORE: College Football Rankings: What Oklahoma State’s Loss to Baylor Means for Alabama, Notre Dame, and More

Notre Dame (11-1)

Previous range: 6

Notre Dame needed a surprise on conference championship weekend for a shot at the playoffs. The Fighting Irish did it when the Cowboys lost to No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12 championship game. But the one thing that couldn’t happen, an Alabama win over Georgia, did. With its win in Atlanta, Alabama has likely put two SEC teams in the top four. Cincy is a lock considering her victory. If Michigan wins, Notre Dame won’t be able to move up anywhere. They will remain, at best, the first team out of the playoff.

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Baylor (11-2)

Previous range: 9

Baylor appeared to have a chance to sneak into the playoffs after his loss to No. 5 Oklahoma State. But Alabama’s win probably ended any chance the Bears have of making the playoffs, barring a loss at Michigan. The Bears should be happy with the way they ended their season, but they will likely have to settle for a spot on New Years Day 6 after losing to a 3-6 TCU team in Week 10.

Iowa (10-2)

Previous range: 13

Iowa has yet to play Michigan in the Big Ten championship. A win there could generate an interesting debate for the selection committee to look at (11-2 Michigan vs. 11-2 Big Ten Iowa vs. 11-1 Notre Dame vs. 11-2 Big 12 Baylor) but that CFP ranking is worth looking at. . Asking for a nine-point jump in the standings is probably too much for the Hawkeyes.

Georgia (12-1)

Previous range: 1

The bad news is that Georgia has lost its first game of the season and will not win the SEC championship. The good news is that Georgia has been so good all season that the Bulldogs are still considered a lock to make the playoffs, even after their loss. The defense performed poorly, but a unit entering Saturday’s game ranked first in total defense (230.4 yards per game), second in air defense (151.5 yards per game), third in air defense (151.5 yards per game) cannot be ruled out. 78.9 yards per game) and first in points per game (an absurd 6.9 points per game). There is work to be done, but the Bulldogs have earned the opportunity for another championship shot.

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