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How Three SEC Teams Could Make the College Football Playoff

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 16: Justin Jefferson #2 of the LSU Tigers celebrates a touchdown with Terrace Marshall Jr. #6 during the second half of a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
LSU v Mississippi | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Fans waiting in anticipation for the "fall of the Southeast Conference" will have to wait another year. Once again, the most hated and respected league in college football has put multiple teams in position to win the national title. To be exact, three teams from the Southeast have a realistic shot: LSU, Georgia, and Alabama. Depending on the results of the last two weeks of the regular season, at least one - maybe even three - will compete for the prize.

While much of this is out of the SEC teams' control - their Playoff rankings also depend on the results of teams outside of their conference, after all - their destiny is mainly in their own hands for the rest of the season.

SCENARIO 1: Just LSU in
The consensus number-one team in the land, LSU has the inside track to the playoff, and even a closely-contested loss may not be enough to push it completely out at this stage. It's already passed the ultimate test of the season in beating Alabama, which convinced the college football world that Ed Orgeron's boys were the real deal.

SCENARIO 2: LSU & Georgia in
Georgia's only blemish so far is their upset loss to a disappointing South Carolina squad in October. Since then, the Bulldogs and their smothering defense have won their last four by a combined margin of 93-31. They've given up the fewest points of any defense in the SEC, and if anyone can hold Joe Burrow in check, it would have to be the Bulldogs. LSU might need to prepare, as Georgia's hard-fought 21-14 win over Auburn ensured they would most likely meet LSU in the SEC Championship game if the current standings of the SEC West held.

SCENARIO 3: LSU, Georgia, & Alabama in
A.K.A. the Doomsday scenario. Unlikely as it seems, it could potentially come into play if all three teams win their remaining regular-season games while the highest-ranked non-SEC teams suffer losses. While it's not likely that Alabama will jump LSU for the trip to the SEC Championship, their national top-four hopes aren't completely dead yet, even without Tagovailoa to guide them. Their win over Mississippi State helped keep their Playoff ambitions alive, and it will be up to sophomore quarterback Mac Jones to make sure they stay that way. Jones isn't up to Tagovailoa's standard - at least not yet - but he has shown himself to be an accurate passer, as proven by his 18/22, 235-yard performance against Arkansas. This would take Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon and Utah losing in the regular season and at least the latter three losing again in their conference championship. But if there are three one-loss SEC teams and a bunch of one- or two-loss teams from other conferences, the SEC could get three in.