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Could Alabama’s win over Georgia keep the SEC out of the College Football Playoff?

Did the Crimson Tide take the SEC out of the playoff entirely?

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Update 11:45 p.m. With FSU’s win over Louisville and Michigan’s shutout of Iowa in their conference championship games, there is a chance the SEC is left out of the Playoff.

Michigan and Washington are in, and then there are three teams for two spots between Alabama, Florida State, and Texas. All three are conference champions, with FSU being the only undefeated one... and also clearly the one that is the most flawed at this moment thanks to the injury to Jordan Travis.

Texas’s win over in Tuscaloosa over Alabama is a factor, but so is Alabama’s win of the much tougher league by strength of schedule in the SEC.


No. 8 Alabama just knocked off No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Games, downing the two-time defending national champions 27-24. With that victory, we now have a bit of chaos in the College Football Playoff race and believe it or not, there’s now a possibility that the SEC could be left out of the playoff entirely.

No really, that’s on the table now.

First off, let’s go over the top eight of CFP rankings heading into Conference Championship weekend:

  1. Georgia Bulldogs
  2. Michigan Wolverines
  3. Washington Huskies
  4. Florida State Seminoles
  5. No. 5 Oregon Ducks
  6. Ohio State Buckeyes
  7. Texas Longhorns
  8. Alabama Crimson Tide

Washington has effectively claimed one of the four College Football Playoff spots with its victory over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Texas hammered Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game and as just mentioned, Alabama took down Georgia in the SEC title game. That leaves just two games of significant consequence as of this writing with Michigan facing Iowa for the Big Ten title and Florida State facing Louisville for the ACC title.

If Michigan and FSU both handle their business, you will most likely get a playoff field of Michigan, Washington, Texas, and FSU. As undefeated Power Five champions, the Wolverines, Huskies, and Seminoles should get automatic nods from the committee, even with Florida State dealing with injury problems at quarterback. Then there’s Texas, who won its conference with a 12-1 record and most importantly, owns a direct head-to-head victory over Alabama. That would give them the edge over the both the SEC Champion Crimson Tide and UGA, who failed to beat Nick Saban’s crew in Atlanta.

The SEC has been the most represented conference since the playoff was introduced in 2014, as the league has sent at least one team to the dance every single year. It’s hard to imagine an SEC-less field, but that’s a testament to the number of championship contenders that emerged across the country this season. However, these arguments will become moot next year when the playoff expands to 12 teams.