Palm: Georgia, Not Alabama, Controls Its Own Destiny

For Kirby Smart, it's win and in; for Nick Saban, not so much

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
November 13, 2019 - 9:21 am
Kirby Smart Georgia

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Georgia beat out Alabama for the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff rankings this week, but many analysts, including CBS Sports college football analyst Jerry Palm, aren’t putting much stock in that.

“I feel like it doesn’t really matter that much,” Palm said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I predicted that Georgia would be 4 because their schedule is better than Alabama’s. Alabama has played one good team and lost, albeit the No. 1 team. Dominated the rest of their schedule, but it’s a pretty poor schedule.”

Indeed, Duke, New Mexico State, Southern Mississippi and Western Carolina aren’t scaring anyone.

“Georgia has played better teams,” Palm said. “They have two wins over ranked teams in Notre Dame and Florida. Their loss is kind of ugly: South Carolina at home. So I think you can go either way. But the important thing about those two teams is that Georgia controls whether it makes the playoff. If it wins the rest of its games, if it finishes 12-1 and SEC champions, it’s going to the playoff. Alabama can win the rest of their games and still be left out.”

The battle for No. 1, meanwhile, could come down to No. 1 LSU (9-0) and No. 2 Ohio State (9-0). The Buckeyes have outscored the opposition 459-77 this year. Average final score of their last eight games: 51.8-7

“Ohio State’s dominance this season has been historic,” Palm said. “They’re completely laying waste to everybody they play – good, bad or different. That’s their case for No. 1. They’ve beaten good teams. They beat Wisconsin and Cincinnati – who are both in the top 20 – by a combined score of 80-7.”

LSU, meanwhile, has four wins over teams currently ranked in the top 20.

“LSU has got some better wins than Ohio State does,” Palm said. “They’ve had some closer games, but their schedule is better. I think it’s a close decision between the two, and it may not be over yet. Ohio State has some pretty good teams left on their schedule.”

The Buckeyes host No. 9 Penn State (8-1) on Nov. 23 and will face No. 15 Michigan (7-2) in Ann Arbor on Nov. 30. A potential top-10 matchup with No. 8 Minnesota (9-0) looms in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 7.

Click below to listen to Palm’s interview in its entirety.