Seasons Where Georgia Would Have Benefited From a 12-Team Playoff

If a 12-team College Football Playoff existed sooner, Georgia Football may have a few more national titles.

The Football Bowl Subdivision is close to adopting a 12-team playoff to replace the current four-team format. The College Football Playoff management committee decides the fate of the system in a meeting next week, although it would have to be approved by university presidents on June 22.

With the expanded playoff, good teams that would otherwise be playing in "meaningless bowl games" would join the national championship picture. Playing in the top, non-championship bowl games is something Georgia Football is accustomed to, so there are many seasons from Georgia's past where the Bulldogs could have benefited from the expanded playoffs.


Had college football adopted a 12-team playoff from the get-go, Georgia would be on a four-year playoff streak. Heck, the Bulldogs might even have another national title. The playoff committee ranked Georgia No. 5 in the final polls in 2018 and 2019, and No. 9 in 2020.

The Bulldogs would have had a very favorable route to the national title game in 2018, playing a 9-3 Penn State team in the first round before a rematch with Oklahoma in the second round. With another win over the Sooners, Georgia would have met Alabama in the Final Four looking to avenge the two comeback losses from the previous year.

JT Daniels could have turned Georgia into the Cinderella team of the 2020 playoffs. The Bulldogs started the year and lost two games with Stetson Bennett at quarterback, but the offense improved immensely with Daniels in the pocket. 


Georgia technically played in the National Championship Game in 2012 with the Notre Dame game being just a formality for the winner of the SEC championship. The Bulldogs came just a few yards short of beating Alabama for the right to play the Fighting Irish in Miami.


One of the reasons college football has a playoff today is the 2007 season. Georgia was by far the hottest team in the nation entering the bowl season. The Bulldogs went on a six-game winning streak to end the season with an 11-2 record, while the two squads competing for the national title each lost games in November. LSU's regular-season finale loss to Arkansas was its second defeat of the 2007 campaign.


Mark Richt's early years are already considered to be his best as head coach, but those years would look a whole lot better if a 12-team playoff was around. Georgia would have certainly earned playoff spots in 2002, 2004 and 2005, and would have been close in 2003. 

Georgia won the SEC championship in 2002 and 2005, and lost in the title game in 2003. The Bulldogs failed to win the SEC East in 2004, but with just two blemishes against the SEC divisional champs, they likely would have received a second chance at glory in the playoff.


Just three points separated Georgia from the inaugural SEC Championship Game in 1992. The Bulldogs lost close battles with Tennessee (34-31) and Florida (26-24) to barely miss out on making history. However, had the bowl coalition eelcted to utilize a 12-team playoff, the 1992 Bulldogs would have earned a spot in the playoffs as the nation's best two-loss team.