Georgia makes the playoffs, while Clemson's chances suffer a huge setback after a loss.


Georgia makes the playoffs, while Clemson's chances suffer a huge setback after a loss.

After just one weekend, Jerry Palm's College Football Playoff prediction has changed.

Saturday night's game between No. 5 Georgia and No. 3 Clemson was an oddity in an era of flashy offenses and rules designed to make it difficult for defenders. In the Bulldogs' 10-3 triumph over the Tigers, two strong defenders rendered two talented offenses powerless. Naturally, Georgia's defense scored the game's only touchdown, returning an interception for a touchdown in the first half.

The outcome has influenced College Football Playoff predictions. Georgia now has a strong chance of making the College Football Playoff this season, whereas Clemson may not be able to bounce back from the loss.  

Of course, the Bulldogs still have a long way to go and must avoid being upset before facing No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia might be in a position to make the CFP regardless of the outcome of that game if it can enter it with a 12-0 record.

Clemson, on the other hand, is not so fortunate. The Tigers will still be substantially favored the rest of the way, but their schedule will be devoid of the type of high-quality opponents that would attract the attention of the CFP Selection Committee. This week, the only other ACC teams in the Preseason AP Top 25 all lost. No. 14 Miami was defeated by Alabama, while No. 10 North Carolina was defeated by Virginia Tech, who was not ranked.

If the teams behind Clemson start squabbling, no one will be able to beat No. 1 Clemson.  

It's feasible that Notre Dame will go the entire season without defeating a team ranked in the top 15. Regardless, if both teams go 12-1, Clemson will not finish ahead of Georgia in the rankings.

Alabama continues to seem like the unstoppable force that we all anticipate them to be. No. 3 Ohio State was put to the test against Minnesota on Thursday, but it came out on top. Tulane gave No. 2 Oklahoma a scare on Saturday, but the Sooners hung on for a 40-35 victory. Georgia has now joined the three in the latest CFP prediction. Texas A&M (fifth) and Clemson (sixth) are the first two teams out of the projected field (sixth).  

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