Tennessee would win a rematch with Georgia in the 2022 College Football Playoffs

ATHENS — Tennessee would beat Georgia if the teams contest again in the college football playoffs, according to CBS analyst Rick Neuheisel.

Neuheisel, a former Colorado, Washington and UCLA head coach, said at an event hosted by the Knoxville Quarterback Club that without the crowd noise that disrupted them at the team meeting in Athens two weeks ago, the Vols would be more efficient and Kirby’s football program smart would hit.

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Georgia couldn’t have been more dominating as they defeated Tennessee 27-13 in the historic battle of the No. 1 teams on November 5.

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The Bulldogs held the Vols’ fast offense for more than 17 yards and a touchdown without a play until less than five minutes remained and the game was in hand.

Leading 24-6 at the break, Georgia passed the ball just four times in the second half — once in the fourth quarter — choosing to run and keep the clock ticking as Tennessee Heisman Trophy contender Hendon Hooker, was sacked six times and fought in the rain.

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The Vols had seven pre-snap penalties and six false starts at Dooley Field while the crowd at Sanford Stadium raged, preventing Hooker from checking into running games, Neuheisel explained.

“It will all be settled” he said, “and I can’t wait to see that.”

The College Football Playoff Committee will not determine actual CFP fixtures until December 4, the day after each league’s championship games.

Georgia is expected to take first place when the new rankings are released Tuesday night, and most believe Tennessee would be the top pick among teams at large with a loss.

The Vols don’t necessarily control their own destiny in the four-team CFP field, however Odds makers give Tennessee the third best chance of making the playoffs behind Georgia and Ohio State.

Neuheisel said he drew his conclusions after watching the film about Georgia’s win over Tennessee.

“I saw all sorts of opportunities for better results while watching the film,” Neuheisel told DawgNation when asked for his comments on the outcome of a potential rematch.

“Without taking nothing away from Georgia, who deserved the win, a rematch would take place in a neutral environment negating six false starts and also providing more communication opportunities, making cover sacks less likely.”

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Neuheisel also said Josh Heupel’s decision to score a touchdown with less than a minute left in a 66-24 win over Missouri last Saturday could come back to bite the Tennessee head coach as a sophomore.

“Eli Drinkwitz puts that away,” said Neuheisel, who called the game and suggested the Vols get on their knees. “Josh Heupel was on the other side. It’s a fraternity. We all understand each other. But it was submitted. We’ll see if that ever haunts him again.

“You’re just hoping for the pollsters, for the committee, you’re not just trying to show off… You’re just hoping that’s not part of the reason.”

The Vols lead the nation by eight points more than Ohio State — one of the programs they could potentially be measured against by the CFP committee should the Buckeyes also end in defeat and not play in the Big Ten Championship Game.

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The CFP Committee has referred to where teams rank in the standings when explaining the order of teams in previous discussions.

Tennessee ends its season with games this Saturday in South Carolina and November 26 in Vanderbilt.

Georgia plays Kentucky this Saturday and wraps up the regular season with Georgia Tech on Nov. 26 before meeting LSU in the SEC championship game on Dec. 3 in Atlanta.

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