Georgia is a near two-touchdown underdog on Saturday against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. And the consensus view appears to be the Bulldogs could only make the College Football Playoff with a win over the Crimson Tide.

But ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit believes Georgia could make the Playoff even without a win. It all comes down to how the game plays out, and how the other conference title games unfold. It’s important to give a performance that impresses the CFP selection committee.

Georgia is widely expected to be ranked No. 4 in Tuesday night’s rankings reveal by the committee.

Barring upsets in the Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 title games, Georgia could still get in the final four over Ohio State and Oklahoma. Herbstreit believes Georgia shouldn’t be penalized for playing Alabama close.

“It’s subjective analysis, but you could make a case for it,” Herbstreit said during Tuesday’s appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up!,” according to Dawgs 247. “I think the way the (SEC Championship Game) plays out will go a long way in the argument post-game discussion into Sunday morning. If it’s a game like they had last year in the national championship and Georgia loses a close one like that, even with two losses, I personally think Georgia would have the very strong case (for the Playoff).

This matchup also speaks to the strength of conferences as Georgia competes with Ohio State, it has a considerably tougher path against Alabama than the Buckeyes have against Northwestern, and Oklahoma does against Texas.

“It’s a little bit different what Georgia has to go though and I think we need to take that into consideration at the end of the day,” Herbstreit said. “I’m not caught up in the ‘two losses, they’re automatically eliminated’ (stuff). If they play their tails off and lose a close one, I think they’ll have a case to be made.”

As the committee continues to reveal its preference for how it judges teams, Georgia and the rest of the outside-looking-in-contenders have a chance to give it one lasting impression before the semifinalists are revealed.