While Smart said he’s not paying attention to the field, it’s a safe bet he’s delegated that responsibility to someone else as Georgia will be keeping a close eye on potential opponents.
Clemson appears to be the most likely semifinal opponent for UGA if the Bulldogs win in a variety of scenarios, but there’s also a possibility it’s Ohio State or USC (see below).
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As of Monday night, Clemson appeared to be the team with the biggest annoyance in this most recent ranking, according to a head-to-head CV comparison with LSU.
The first question posed to CFP Chairman Boo Corrigan during the weekly conference call following the release of the rankings was how LSU’s Tigers might rank ahead of Clemson.
Both teams have blowout losses — LSU at home to No. 10 Tennessee (40-13), Clemson on the road at No. 15 Notre Dame (35-14) — but Clemson won at Florida State (34-28). LSU lost to the Seminoles in New Orleans (24-23).
“LSU, since that loss to Florida State, (it’s) the way they’ve played and how they’ve continued to improve; the win over Alabama, the convincing win over Mississippi, those are two things that we really looked at,” Corrigan said.
“Regarding Clemson…6-1 against teams over .500 (and) two ranked teams in it.”
The difference is LSU’s quality win over Alabama, which the CFP committee continues to rate so highly that they have the Tide in 7th place with two losses — one spot ahead of Clemson with one loss.
The question of whether TCU will be ranked behind Ohio State and Michigan also came up, and the answer seemed to leave the door open to the Horned Frogs potentially skipping the Wolverines but not the Buckeyes in undefeated scenarios.
“If you look at Ohio State’s record, Michigan’s record, TCU is 8-0 against teams over .500, which is really impressive,” Corrigan said.
“But again, if we look at their ability to get back into games where Ohio State and Michigan largely haven’t, and like I said last week, that Ohio State win over Notre Dame is an impressive second win for the Penn State win.”
Corrigan is referring to “game control” in that reference to TCU having to come back to make wins, while Ohio State and Michigan — for the most part — weren’t in that situation.
Teams that control their own destiny and will create CFP through wins: Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan TCU, USC and LSU.
(Three most likely scenarios)
2. State of Ohio
Scenario: Georgia, Ohio State, TCU wins, USC loses Saturday at home to Notre Dame or loses to Oregon/Utah in the Pac-12 championship game
4. State of Ohio
Scenario: Georgia, Michigan, TCU, Ohio State. One-loss Buckeyes get a nod over one-loss Clemson because Ohio State beat Notre Dame earlier this season and Clemson lost to Irish.
2. State of Ohio
Scenario: Georgia, Ohio State, USC and TCU win, Trojans edged out Horned Frogs for 3rd place on wins over Notre Dame and Pac-12 title game over Oregon/Utah.