Georgia football: Notre Dame is strike one against committee’s decision

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Clemson slaughtered Notre Dame 30-3, giving the nation reason to question the playoff committee’s choice to omit Georgia football from the top four.

As a frustrated Georgia football fan, the first playoff game of 2018 did not help. But it did give justification for our complaints about the committee leaving us out of the top four. The no. 2 Clemson Tigers whooped the no. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 30-3. The Tigers led 23-3 at halftime, stepped off the gas in the second half and still dominated the Irish.

The playoff committee is at the plate with these three games and the Notre Dame loss is strike one against their methods for choosing the top four teams. The debate, deserving vs. best, was what Georgia’s status hinged on. The argument was, Georgia’s loss to Alabama meant they didn’t deserve to play for a National Championship. But, Georgia giving Alabama their only test of 2018 meant they were clearly one of the best teams in the nation.

The argument about who deserves a spot in the playoffs based on won out, and the committee chose the undefeated Fighting Irish and Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners instead of the Bulldogs. Notre Dame’s poor average margin of victories against a week schedule could have kept them out of the playoffs. It could have saved the nation from having to watch Clemson beat them easily. Oklahoma’s bad defense could have kept them out of the playoffs. The nation might not have had to watch the lopsided first half which just concluded in the Orange Bowl.

Maybe next year, and beyond, the playoff committee will show some consistency with their decision-making. The “deserving” argument only works when judging teams with similar opponents. Georgia ran through a fairly tough schedule with only one blemish, and through 27 halves of football, are the only school to have a shot at beating the Crimson Tide.

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It’s time for the committee to look at the teams in question and ask who, which teams do we think could win the National Championship. Rank those teams in order of that likelihood. There’s your four-team playoff. The Cotton Bowl was strike one against the committee. If the score in the Orange Bowl holds, that game will be strike two.