The playoff picture begins to take shape

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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My heart goes out to Tua.

The freak accident injury that he suffered last Saturday against Mississippi State is one of the most unfortunate things I’ve ever seen in sports. He is a sensational player. As a Georgia fan, I’ve thrown my hat on the floor and cried out his name in anger dozens of times over the years. But I would never wish for him to suffer a dislocated hip.

I hope he returns stronger than ever. The doctors say he will be throwing balls again by next spring. If that’s true, I hope he has a sensational senior year at Alabama. That’s right, I think he’ll return for his senior year.

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Alabama is likely out of the playoff picture now. Without the ability to get another top 10 win this season, I doubt the playoff committee will favor their schedule over others. Also, in terms of potential viewership numbers, a Tua-less Alabama suddenly seems a lot less interesting in the playoffs.

Georgia, on the other hand, is right on track to achieve its goals. After a win on The Plains last Saturday (despite the Tigers almost taking advantage of the Dawgs’ prevent defense in the last minutes), Georgia has punched its ticket to the SEC Championship where it will almost certainly play LSU. I think Georgia has a decent shot to win that game, too. The Dawgs rank sixth overall in total defense for 2019, according to the NCAA. The closest they’ve come to sniffing a team of that caliber is against Florida. The Tigers only managed to score 23 points against Auburn, who comes in at 24th in total defense. I believe Georgia will show up to this game, and I think they’ll get enough stops to give Georgia’s offense a chance. A chance, I say. The Dawgs are 47th overall in total offense. Fittingly, LSU is 47th in total defense. The Tigers are second in total offense.

I know all of these are just numbers, statistical mumbo jumbo. But I think it’s interesting to look and provides a decent indicator of what to expect in a given matchup.

Elsewhere, Notre Dame demolished Navy, Michigan looks to be hitting its hot streak at the perfect time and Oklahoma made a convincing case to the playoff committee against Baylor. I think it will be extremely difficult to consider them worthy of the Top 4 if Georgia and LSU are both 12-1 after the SEC Championship and Clemson and Ohio state run the table. But a little chaos here and there could shake things up just enough to push them in. Jalen Hurts is sensational. I’ll never count him out.

In Ivy League news, the blasted Pennsylvania Quakers beat my Harvard Crimson at Cambridge for the third year in a row. Penn has take four of the last five games.

Sheesh! Get it together, boys!