1. On Oct. 23, Bud Elliott and I guessed what the playoff committee’s rankings would’ve looked like at the time. We both had Georgia No. 1 already, based on an impressive win at Notre Dame, a blowout of a decent Mississippi State, and a list of breezy wins elsewhere.
2. The other contenders for that No. 1 spot: Alabama, Penn State, and TCU. (Power 5 unbeatens Miami and Wisconsin are also in the running, but the Canes have had a bunch of close wins, and Wisconsin’s yet to beat anybody all that good.)
4. Oh, and the Dawgs added another obliteration of a bad team (their 42-7 win over Florida won’t count for much, but it’s another example of what a good team should do against a hopeless opponent) while their win over Notre Dame continued to become one of the season’s best, as the Irish beat ranked NC State by 21. No other unbeaten team has a W anywhere close in quality.
5. But why couldn’t Alabama be No. 1? The Tide are whooping people too, after all. Well, Bama’s best win on the year so far was probably an eight-point win at Texas A&M (either that or its wins over a couple two-loss Mountain West teams). Guess who just won at Texas A&M by 21? Mississippi State, the team Georgia beat by 28.
6. Therefore, in addition to UGA’s season resume getting a little bit better thanks to that result, Bama’s also got a little bit weaker. This isn’t just transitive crap; A&M looks like a less impressive W now. MSU looks like a more impressive W now.
7. So when the Playoff committee releases its first 2017 rankings on Oct. 31, that’s why UGA should be No. 1 for its first time ever.
8. That doesn’t matter matter until Selection Sunday. UGA and Bama are on an SEC Championship collision course anyway, and even if they weren’t, Bama’s strength of schedule has some upgrades inbound.
9. Does this mean SEC teams will be No. 1 and No. 2? It does, but there’s almost no way around it at the moment. (As for the rest of the top 10, we’ll have fuller predictions on Monday.)
10. For now, I bet you 100 pushups UGA will be No. 1 on Oct. 31. Not each of you individually, but all of you as a group. It might take me a while to do them, but that’s fine.