Following No. 8 Alabama knocking off No. 1 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game about a month ago to hand the back-to-back national champs their first loss in nearly two years, Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe made a blatant pass at the Selection Committee Roster for the College Football Playoff on behalf of his team. “Georgia is number one, right?” Milroe, who was picked as MVP of Alabama’s 27-24 victory, said. “We just beat the number one team. What do you consider us?”
Much to the much-hyped chagrin of undefeated Florida State and the school’s followers, the Selection Committee apparently considered Milroe and his team worthy of a spot in the CFP as a No. 4 seed and picked the Crimson Tide over both the the Seminoles and the Bulldogs to face No. 1 Michigan in the Rose Bowl. (No. 2 Washington was picked by the Committee to take on No. 3 Texas in the second CFP game of the first round — and won.)
Milroe and the Tide made it to overtime against Michigan, but he came up short on a fourth-down run close to the goal line that would have allowed Alabama to tie the Wolverines and send the game to a second extra period. The Wolverines, who made a number of potentially disastrous mistakes (including a muffed punt at the end of regulation that could have resulted in a game-ending safety), head to the national championship game to attempt to keep their undefeated 14-0 record pristine.
The Seminoles, who clearly felt they should have had the chance to continue their 13-0 season in the CFP, were assuredly annoyed by Monday’s result. But the Bulldogs, who drubbed FSU 63-3 in the Orange Bowl on Saturday night in a matchup of the two top-ranked teams outside the CFP, were the team that should have been upset about Alabama’s loss to Michigan. Not because they have SEC spirit, but because they could have beaten the Wolverines.
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It’s not apples to apples and FSU was missing a ton of key players in their loss to Georgia, but they lost by 60 points and were clearly the inferior team, despite the Seminoles being undefeated and the Bulldogs having a loss on their record. Based on the result of Alabama-Michigan on Monday, it’s hard to argue that the Crimson Tide were better than Georgia either or were a better matchup for the gang from Ann Arbor, especially when you consider the Bulldogs destroyed Michigan 34-11 in the CFB in 2011. Some things have changed since then, for sure, but some stay the same.
Facing Washington on Monday night, the Wolverines will be favored to win it all. If Georgia had been given a shot to play Michigan and beaten them, they would have been the favorites too. The same can’t be said for FSU, which is why UGA has a bigger complaint about why they didn’t get a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.