There is something different about the release of the first College Football Playoff Committee rankings Tuesday. Call it a keener sense of anticipation. A significantly sharper edge to the proceedings. That anxious feeling – the kind you get on the way to a family reunion or a couple drinks with your consistently wrong-headed buddies – that there is a good argument coming and you are spoiling for battle.
Such is the markedly altered state of mind when a team of provincial interest - like say, the Georgia Bulldogs - are a part of the equation.
These Bulldogs, of course, are a big part. But before those first rankings come out, one suggestion: Don’t get too worked up either way about where Georgia lands in this initial offering. No. 1 or No. 2 matters little at this stage. On which side of Alabama the Bulldogs land isn’t the self-esteem issue that it will be. Bigger fights assuredly await. Save your powder.
Just the opportunity to join the debate – and one of the committee’s major reasons for being is to stir up a big pot of heated dialogue – is a big deal. There is politics. There is religion. There is college football. They are the three topics sure to stir emotions. Welcome one of the great debates, Bulldog people. Stay classy.
The process will include a month more of these weekly unveilings before the Dec. 3 rankings, when the college football caste system is set in concrete. Then four teams are assigned the chance to play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Jan. 8. By then, every precinct of the sport will be heard from, and everyone – yes, the Russians included, probably – will be blamed for some outrageous and criminal seeding.
Unbeaten, Georgia and Alabama currently can remove themselves from the petty squabbles of lesser institutions. Yes, they are unbeaten in a much more convincing way than the others. They are the Rolex of unbeatens. Currently, Wisconsin, Miami and Central Florida are more the Mickey Mouse models.
One inevitably must join the grasping ranks of one-loss teams, if no other time, then certainly following the SEC Championship game. Wouldn’t that be a Thunderdome scenario?
Then it really gets contentious because the line of one-loss teams of impeccable breeding already stretches out the door. The comparative analysis to come may require people in lab coats and advanced degrees. Sportswriters own neither.
I refuse to traffic in hypotheticals at this point, because, frankly, there remains too much potential chaos in the volatile world of 20-year-olds. Laying out playoff possibilities at this point is a frivolous errand, like trying to determine your kid’s IQ from the first sonogram.
So much fun awaits. Before an afterthought, Georgia now looks to be a headliner in the playoff intrigue to come. Enjoy.
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