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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

SEC commissioner already making 1 wild College Football Playoff argument

Greg Sankey at a press conference

July 15, 2019; Birmingham, AL, USA; SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency-Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The week or two before the unveiling of the College Football Playoff field tends to feature a whole lot of lobbying on behalf of teams and conferences. Some of it is justified, some of it is a reach, and then there is whatever SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was up to on Friday.

Sankey made the case for a three-loss LSU team to receive playoff consideration if they win the SEC title game on Saturday, which would be very much unprecedented. The commissioner argued that the quality of the league matters and brushed aside the point that the Tigers have lost three games.

“We are living in unprecedented times, are we not?” Sankey told Ross Dellenger of SI. “Any conference champion merits consideration, but right on top of that list is the champion from the SEC. Now, whether it’s possible or not looking at the full picture, that’s where the selection committee comes in. Three losses is going to be tough, but having the best win of the year, after the full body of work, certainly introduces them into a conversation.”

LSU may have had a shot until they lost in ugly fashion to Texas A&M last Saturday. That pretty much killed their playoff hopes, and rightly so. Sankey knows Georgia is almost certainly in either way, but his best hope for a second SEC team is if USC loses the Pac-12 title game. That could open the door for Tennessee or Alabama, but even in that scenario, it might be Ohio State that has a leg up on that competition.

The SEC has typically dominated the playoff, as Sankey has gleefully noted in the past. On two occasions, they have even sent two teams to the playoff, the only league to have done so. Sankey obviously wants to make this the third occasion, but it probably isn’t happening no matter how hard he lobbies.

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