Florida football: Can Gators make playoff with win over Alabama in SEC Championship Game?

Kyle Trask, Florida Gators, LSU Tigers. (Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK)
Kyle Trask, Florida Gators, LSU Tigers. (Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK) /

It looks like the shoe is on the other foot for Florida football’s College Football Playoff chances.

Florida football’s College Football Playoff hopes may not even be on life support after Saturday.

After getting upset at home to the unranked LSU Tigers, the No. 6 Florida Gators tripped to 8-2 on the season. While they clinched an SEC East division title last week with a win over the division rival Tennessee Volunteers, Dan Mullen’s team will be a massive underdog in the 2020 SEC Championship game vs. the undefeated No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. Does Florida have a chance?

Florida may not even get to a New Year’s Six bowl with a third loss

To date, no two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff. While programs like Alabama, the Georgia Bulldogs, the Oregon Ducks, the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Wisconsin Badgers have had teams on the fringes of getting in with two losses before, not even a conference championship victory over Alabama will be enough to convince the committee they belong in.

With undefeated teams like Alabama and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish essentially guaranteed spots into the four-team field already, only two will be up for grabs. Teams like the Clemson Tigers, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Texas A&M Aggies are the three most likely to fight for the last two spots in. There is also a Big 12, and possibly a Pac-12, component to consider, too.

Because the Big 12 Championship game will feature a pair of two-loss, top-10 teams in the Iowa State Cyclones and the Oklahoma Sooners, it is possible that conference champion could sneak into the four-team field. We should expect No. 7 Iowa State to move up to No. 6 in the penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings after Florida’s unthinkable home loss to a sub-.500 LSU team.

As for the Pac-12, the No. 15 USC Trojans are still somehow undefeated. They will play the Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 Championship and the winner will be guaranteed a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl. Though USC will have the same amount of wins as Ohio State if both win their conference championships, the Trojans are not getting in due to the Pac-12’s reputation.

Regardless, there are about six other teams in the Power 5 more deserving of getting in than Florida at this juncture. We are not even factoring in a handful of Group of 5 teams that have yet to lose a game either. While a win over Alabama would guarantee the Gators a New Year’s Six bowl, a third loss on the season might knock Florida out of the so-called top 12. It is not looking good.

Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M would all have two or fewer losses on the season, assuming Georgia beats the Vanderbilt Commodores and Texas A&M handles Tennessee next Saturday. The Crimson Tide would make the playoff as the No. 1 seed and play in the Sugar Bowl. One would think 8-1 Texas A&M and 8-2 Georgia would make the New Year’s Six field over 8-3 Florida.

Simply put, there is no chance Florida has of getting into the College Football Playoff this season.

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