Alabama Won The SEC Championship, But It May Not Mean What You Think It Means

The scenario that college football chaos-enjoyers were rooting for has at least partly come true: No. 8 Alabama has upset No. 1 Georgia to win the SEC title, giving the Tide the best win in college football this year.

Could Alabama make the College Football Playoff with a conference championship? Could Georgia make it as well, since they were clearly the College Football Playoff committee’s No. 1 team all year?


No. 3 Washington won the PAC-12 with its second win over No. 5 Oregon and remains undefeated. So the Huskies are comfortably in, no matter what shenanigans unfold.

There are two more undefeated Power 5 teams that have yet to conclude as of this writing: No. 4 Florida State and No. 2 Michigan. Both are favored, although Florida State is in more danger facing No. 14 Louisville with backup (and injured) quarterback Tate Rodemaker instead of its star Jordan Travis. Michigan will play No. 16 Iowa, a team that is seemingly incapable of scoring points on offense.

If Michigan wins, it is in. So the neatest possible scenario for the committee would be for Florida State to lose. Then, it likely puts Alabama in along with Texas, the latter of which it would almost certainly slot ahead of Alabama since the Longhorns beat them head-to-head. By 10 points. In Tuscaloosa.

Even as Alabama has rebounded from its rough start (by Alabama standards, of course) and rounded into form at the perfect time, the committee has not wavered. It has not put them ahead of Texas, not once. And it certainly didn’t when the Tide needed a 4th-and-31 miracle against six-win Auburn last week.

So the real question is: what happens if Florida State WINS?

A case can be made that the Seminoles aren’t one of the four best teams without Jordan Travis. It is something the committee has taken into account before, but more in terms of seeding than leaving a team out altogether.

But an undefeated Power 5 conference champion that thumped No. 13 LSU on the road to start the season doesn’t get in over multiple teams with a loss? An undefeated team that would have beaten an SEC team on the road and a top-14 team in Louisville WITHOUT Travis?

The assumption is that the committee will find any excuse to put at least one, if not multiple, SEC teams in to the College Football Playoff. And maybe that’s true.

Either way, the committee is going to be forced to make a decision that is going to make a lot of people angry. But Alabama beating Georgia does NOT automatically mean that the SEC will get a team — much less two — in.