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This is nice, being in the #4 slot and all, but at this point it seems largely irrelevant, considering the games left to play. First, UGA has to beat Auburn on the road, win out, and then face LSU in the title game. Not impossible, but pretty long odds. Because of the South Carolina loss, only by winning the SEC does UGA stand any chance of remaining in the conversation. Everything else is just noise, regardless of where Florida and Notre Dame end up in the rankings. As far as Alabama is concerned, it seems fairly straightforward that if LSU wins the SEC, they are going to slide into the #4 slot as the best 1-loss team in the country (with the best loss). There are a number of merits to playing (if you win) a tough non-conference schedule, which we see here, and it certainly makes things more interesting- the subjective nature of strength-of-schedule versus straight W-L (Sorry, Gophers) creates better games through the season, but it makes it a lot tougher to see who really is the best. An eight-team playoff would be more ideal, but harder to manage.
Doesn't really work this way. By this calculus, UCF was the undisputed National Champion last year, because they beat Auburn, who had beaten both UGA and Alabama. (Who by the way, didn't win their conference, but ended up as National Champions) You have to look at the whole body of work. UGA had two bad days that felt remarkably similar (LSU and Texas) The SECC game was lost by poor coaching and Jalen Hurt's legs. The game stats lean heavily in UGA's favor despite the loss. But by a season-long measure, UGA stacks up in almost every statistical category a lot closer to one side of that road than the other. Total offense- #8 in the country (Clemson #2, South Carolina, #46) Total Defense- #21 (Clemson #9 , South Carolina #86) Rushing offense - #12 (Clemson #4, South Carolina #81) UGA finished 11-3 [7-1 SEC]. South Carolina finished 7-6 [4-4 SEC]. The middle of the road, if you are UGA, is a lot closer to Clemson than to Columbia. Are they a top 4 team? We'll find out next year. But by all measures, they are capable of it.