The Sporting News pitches five playoff scenarios for 2018 “sure to make everyone mad“. Here’s number one:
Alabama vs. Georgia — again
The all-SEC championship title game between Alabama and Georgia drew a lot of criticism in 2017. Here’s the bad news. It could totally happen again. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs will be heavy favorites to win their respective divisions, and the possibility for a No. 1-vs.-No. 2 showdown in Atlanta for the SEC championship exists.
What if both teams were 12-0 or 11-1 with the drop on the rest of the Playoff field? It’s entirely possible for both to get back in. After all, this was a scenario in 2017. Georgia and Alabama were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 the first two weeks of the CFP rankings before Auburn beat both in November. The Tigers must travel to Athens and Tuscaloosa this year, too. The all-SEC championship rematch is entirely possible.
Yes, if there’s nothing else that would enrage me, it’s the thought that the two best teams in the country face off for the national championship. That would really chap my ass, not because I’m a Georgia fan, but as a college football fan who has this charmingly deluded notion that the point to the sport’s postseason should be to have the best face the best. Get real.
Here’s what would really happen if that matchup came to be: the national media, goaded by ESPN, would do its collective best to stir up a feeding frenzy; those jonesing for an eight-team playoff, goaded by ESPN, would seize upon this as the lever needed to move the discussion to a more imperative level; Bill Hancock, goaded by ESPN, would blink his eyes at the media while solemnly insisting that expansion was not in the works; the national media, goaded by ESPN, would parse the television viewership numbers searching for proof that public interest in the CFP was on the verge of waning, etc. Sensing a pattern there?
Mad? Nah. More like calculating.