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The eyes of the college football people will it is in on Atlanta top top Saturday in one SEC championship with heavy College football Playoff crest on the line.

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No. 1 Georgia will get in the video game as a near-touchdown favorite to to win No. 3 Alabama in the conference location game. Georgia has won the SEC championship game three times, v wins comes in 2002, 2005 and also 2017. Never have the Bulldogs beaten Alabama in the clash, through the Crimson Tide having actually won in the just two times the sides have clashed in the matchup.

Overall, Alabama has actually beaten Georgia six straight times dating earlier to 2008. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has actually never beat his former head coach, Nick Saban.

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But this Georgia team watch different. The defense is the finest in the nation. It has a balanced offense the averages 40.7 points every game. The Bulldogs are undefeated, have outscored their enemies 488-83 this season and have not had a game finish within a two-touchdown differential because a 10-3 win versus Clemson in week 1.

If ever before there was a year because that Georgia, this feels favor the year. What then for Alabama? execute the Crimson tide reach the university Football Playoff v an 11-2 record, and also no conference title? Sporting News breaks it down.

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Alabama"s resume

Before we dive into what needs to take place for the tide to play for a national chammpionship, that is precious noting that a two-loss team reaching the CFP would be a first. There have only been four teams to reach the playoff without winning a conference championship: 2016 Ohio State, 2017 Alabama, 2018 Notre Dame and also 2020 Notre Dame. No one of those groups lost much more than one game. However this is currently an unusual year for the CFP. Cincinnati could be the first Group of 5 team to reach the playoff. Clemson is removed from contention. Ohio State is all but certainly eliminated from contention. If Alabama doesn"t make it, the field will most likely consist of 4 teams that have actually never won a CFP title.

It"s additionally worth considering what the committee is right now looking at through the Crimson Tide. Alabama has actually looked shaky in recent weeks, dating ago to a narrow 20-14 win against LSU top top Nov. 6. After ~ a beatdown of new Mexico State, the Crimson tide were again in a close fight versus No. 21 Arkansas, wherein a late drive yielded a 42-35 win. Then, in rivalry week, Alabama barely survived a scare against unranked Auburn, needing four overtimes to success 24-22.

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The current performances, coupled v a significant win by now-No. 2 Michigan end previous No. 2 Ohio State, have reduce the Crimson tide from its 2nd spot in the CFP rankings come No. 3, simply two spots over the cutoff to with the playoff. Get blown out by Georgia in the SEC Championship, and also Alabama"s playoff chances are nearly certainly gone.

There"s quiet a lot of to choose with the Crimson Tide, i beg your pardon is why this conversation is also taking place. Alabama has a Heisman Trophy frontrunner in Bryce Young — only one Heisman winner has missed the CFP — and also ranks among the best teams in all major categories.

 Average every GameFBS Rank
Total Offense492.2 yards7
Scoring Offense42.7 points5
Total Defense294.2 yards7
Scoring Defense19.9 points20

That"s a stout resume that couple of other teams might match, and certainly appears to be one for a team in place to with the CFP. Yet the Tide can be blown the end by the Bulldogs. They could lose a near game, but have the continuing to be favorites victory their conferences. There can be chaos. Come look at Alabama"s chances, we"re breaking the scenarios down into two categories: a blowout loss and also a close loss for Alabama.

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Alabama it s okay blown out

If Michigan and No. 4 Cincinnati victory their conference championship games, a blowout loss come the Bulldogs might make room for the Fighting ireland to move up native No. 6 to squeak in in ~ No. 4 after No. 5 Oklahoma State shed to Baylor in the large 12 location game.

There"s at least a opportunity Alabama provides it in through a blowout loss. If Michigan loses to Iowa, the Wolverines will be due for a tumble, and also No. 13 Iowa would have a long method to rise to overtake Alabama. No. 9 Baylor currently beat No. 5 Oklahoma State, almost certainly remove both large 12 teams from CFP contention. Notre Dame"s resume stays questionable following an 11-1 project that attributes no wins versus teams right now in the peak 25.

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However, the Fighting Irish are No. 6 and also have simply one loss. In the past, that has been enough to gain them in. There has actually never to be a two-loss team reach the CFP, and also that can be a tougher hurdle because that Alabama to clear with a blowout loss. If Cincinnati and Michigan both win, the playoff really well might be Georgia, Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame.

The likelihood the both Cincinnati and Michigan losing is unlikely, though much from impossible. Yet again, in a blowout lose situation, Michigan and Cincinnati winning their title games would more than likely be enough to squeeze the Crimson birds out of the playoff for only the second time in its history.

Georgia wins a close game

Now, what if Georgia just barely scraped through Alabama? This is where points get amazing for the committee and also the Crimson Tide. As mentioned, Alabama"s resume is one few can compare.

If one of Michigan or Cincinnati lose top top Saturday, Alabama figures to it is in the most likely team to enjoy the benefits. Even with the committee no holding Notre Dame"s coaching adjust against them, the Fighting irish still have an uphill fight to with the playoff. Does a Notre Dame team through no ranked wins, a loss to Cincinnati and a brand brand-new head coach do the CFP end an Alabama team through two ranked wins, a near loss come No. 1 Georgia and also a three-point road loss to No. 25 Texas A&M? It could go one of two people way.

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But Oklahoma State has already lost, eliminating one of the potential contenders through Alabama because that that last spot. Perhaps Baylor could push itself into the photo after redeeming one of its two losses this season through beating the Cowboys, however that"s still a large gap to cover.

If Michigan and also Cincinnati lose and also Alabama keeps its lose close, the Crimson Tide are in. If even one loses, Alabama figures to it is in in, despite it is possibly a larger question relying on which team the was the fell. If neither loses, the conversation will be in between Notre Dame and Alabama.

Ultimately, Alabama will need a tiny bit of aid should that lose. Win, and also the discussion is over: the Crimson Tide space in, and likely No. 1. Lose, and there"s going to it is in a the majority of fans in Tuscaloosa, Ala., waiting v bated breath.

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This article has been updated come reflect No. 5 Oklahoma State"s loss come No. 9 Baylor in the big 12 Championship Game.