“Does LSU control their own destiny, does Georgia potentially become in a little bit of a tricky situation at 12-1 if they lose to LSU,” he said. “I don’t think so, right. I do think LSU is in control of their own destiny, though. It would be very difficult based on where the committee has these teams now.”
McElroy believes there’s a chance USC wins out and is still left out of the Playoff, which he described as crazy because of how the committee values the Pac-12.
“This is where I’m having a very difficult time with this whole deal,” McElroy said. “The Pac-12 has half of their conference members ranked in the top 21 and yet clearly the committee’s not really sold on USC. That’s mind-boggling to me.”
USC has quality wins over UCLA and Oregon State, and an opportunity this week against No. 15 Notre Dame.
“That doesn’t sit well with me,” he said. “You can’t tell me how great a conference is and then not have the winner of that conference, and by the way the 1 loss USC experienced was by 1 on the road at Utah, who also is in the top 14. I just think that the committee might’ve gotten that part of it wrong.”
Kirk Herbstreit believes an SEC title would propel LSU into the College Football Playoff field. LSU checks in at No. 5 in the latest edition of the CFP rankings.
LSU will take on No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 3. The ESPN analyst said he thinks an LSU loss in the conference title matchup could potentially open the door for the loser of Ohio State vs. Michigan to gain entry into the CFP.
“If they were to win the SEC Championship, that would put them in. The loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game is rooting for Georgia to win and knock LSU out,” Herbstreit said on Tuesday night. “I think the other thing that stands out is what happens to USC, because you’re potentially setting up, with Ohio State and Michigan playing each other, you start to look down, if everything works out the way it should, which rarely it does, but if Georgia beats LSU, now you’ve got USC and Notre Dame and a Pac-12 championship.”
Herbstreit also cites USC as a factor if it picks up a second loss.
“If USC were to stumble, that’s where things would get really interesting,” Herbstreit said. “With the loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game, who is the discussion with, with that potential loser of that game. You are looking at a potential of getting both Ohio State and Michigan in if you get a couple losses there at 5 and 6. …”
However, Herbstreit emphasized that LSU remains the key cog in the playoff formula.
“The big thing is what’s going to happen to LSU. If they lose to Georgia, and if SC were to lose to Notre Dame or the Pac-12 championship, that’s what opens up this discussion,” Herbstreit said. “Because if SC takes care of business and the loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game lose that game, SC potentially goes up over LSU, if LSU loses in Atlanta. So SC’s very much alive.”