Things are starting to get exciting again.
The College Football Playoff committee released its first set of rankings this week, and the poll was interesting, to say the least. Despite the AP poll’s love affair with last year’s national championship runner-up, Alabama, the committee didn’t feel the same. Many were shocked on Tuesday when the Georgia Bulldogs earned the top seed in the first set of rankings, sitting above their SEC counterpart.
Many fans are even in an uproar regarding the rankings, saying that the Crimson Tide deserve the top spot until someone can defeat them. However, when all facets are considered, Georgia demonstrated its superiority so far on the season, and rightfully earned its spot as No. 1.
The story starts with a tale of two non-conference opponents, and how those two teams have performed this year. Alabama opened the season with a win over then-No. 3 Florida State, a victory that many assumed would certify Alabama’s dominance and help the Tide slide into the top spot and hold it if they could win out.
Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, Florida State has since fallen to 2-5 on the year, sitting at sixth in the ACC Atlantic division and likely to miss the postseason altogether. Suddenly, the win doesn’t look so impressive for Alabama.
Georgia, on the other hand, waltzed into Notre Dame for the second game of the year and won a close decision, 20-19. Notre Dame was then No. 24, and the win didn’t seem to have the significance of the Alabama victory the week prior.
Then Notre Dame decided to run the table its next five games, defeating two top 15 opponents along the way, and outscoring them, 84-28. The Irish now sit at 7-1, and earned the third seed in the first playoff rankings.
Georgia continued to assert its dominance, defeating No. 17 Mississippi State by 28 points and routing its SEC East competition week-in and week-out.
This assertive dominance over tougher opponents is why Georgia deserves the ranking. The Bulldogs have done more than Alabama, and they’ve played tougher opponents. However, Alabama will face Mississippi State later this season, and host No. 19 LSU this weekend, in addition to a trip to battle in-state rival No. 14 Auburn in late November. Georgia will also face Auburn this month.
The true test will be the SEC championship, which will likely be played between these two longtime foes, and will determine which team earns that coveted one seed come the actual playoff. The losing team may even fall from the playoff completely.
So don’t worry, college football fans. The true number one will be revealed in due time.
Joe Smith is a sports writer for The Dominion Post. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.