Alabama Survives Georgia In SEC Title Thriller, Playoff Race Down to OU or UGA

Alabama and Notre Dame are officially in the college football playoff and Clemson, as I type this, is already up double digits on Pittsburgh.

So let’s go ahead and presume the top three seeds will be Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame.

So who gets the fourth spot in this year’s playoff?

In my opinion it’s down to Georgia or Oklahoma and the college football playoff committee’s decision is probably going to boil down to the tension between two criteria — is the goal of the college football playoff committee to pick the most deserving team or the best team?

12-1 Big 12 champ Oklahoma, which just erased their lone loss by beating Texas, is the more deserving team, but 11-2 Georgia, I believe, is the better team. (Vegas would agree with me as well, making Georgia a several point favorite over Oklahoma in a neutral site game).

In his post-game comments Kirby Smart said, “I promise you he (Nick Saban) doesn’t want to play us.”

Later Saban echoed those comments, saying he believed Georgia was one of the four best teams in the country and, “I sure as hell don’t want to play them again.”

The poll linked above, which might be biased because my audience skews to SEC fans, right now is nearly evenly divided between Georgia and Oklahoma as the fourth best team. You can see those results here and vote yourself:

Even still, you have to feel like Oklahoma will be the selection because picking the Sooners will be less controversial.

And if that happens, boy, Georgia has had Alabama nearly beaten two times in the same year in the same building only to see the back up Tide quarterback, Tua in the national title game and now Jalen Hurts in the SEC title game, come in and rally the Tide to the victory.

Jalen Hurts, bringing the Tide back with two fourth quarter touchdowns, delivered one of the great comeback stories in the history of college football and in the process struck a blow for everyone who has ever faced adversity and toughed it out rather than immediately running to fairer pastures.

But the play that will stick with Georgia fans for a long time, maybe forever, was Kirby Smart’s decision to run a fake punt in a tie game on 4th and 11 with three minutes remaining in the game. The play, which never had a chance, was stuffed after gaining just two yards and Alabama scored the winning touchdown just five plays later.

We won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but in the immediate aftermath of the game, as the confetti rained down onto the turf and the opening chords of Sweet Home Alabama rang out, it sure felt like Georgia’s championship dreams had died for a second time in Atlanta in just over 11 months.

The victims, once again, of a back up Tide quarterback who couldn’t be stopped.

Only this time instead of Tua Tagovailoa becoming a star, Jalen Hurts delivered the greatest comeback story in modern college football history.

Hurts, amazingly, won’t be remembered as much for his 26 wins, as he will for this game, for this fourth quarter, for this improbable, incredible, I can’t believe what I am seeing comeback 11 months after he was benched on the biggest stage of all.

Tonight Jalen Hurts officially became an Alabama legend.


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