Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Polls are now open: Is Georgia really a playoff team?

Four teams make the College Football Playoff. Georgia is ranked No. 4 in this week's Associated Press poll. (It's No. 5 in the coaches' poll, 24 points behind Washington.) Of ESPN's four-person panel of college football watchers, three have Georgia making the field.

That in mind, we ask: Is Georgia really a playoff team?

On the one hand, Georgia has been very good, with victories over again-ranked Notre Dame and then-ranked Mississippi State. On the other hand, it's Georgia, which hasn't played for a national championship since 1882 1982. (Sometimes it seems longer than that, does it not?)

Georgia figures to be favored in every game save the road test at Auburn. As we speak, that's the Bulldogs' one remaining game against a ranked opponent, though Georgia Tech would have been No. 26 this week if the AP poll stretched that far. There's also the matter of the SEC championship game, of which Georgia hasn't partaken since 1812 2012, which would presumably match Kirby Smart's new team against Kirby Smart's old team.

There's also this: What if Georgia finishes the regular season 12-0 but loses to Alabama in Mercedes-Benz Stadium? Would a 12-1 SEC runner-up make the field over, say, a one-loss Big Ten or Big 12 or Pac-12 champ? We'll have more to say about that in a bit, but for now, feel free to avail yourselves of this extremely scientific poll.

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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.