Georgia’s drop Tuesday night down the latest College Football Playoff rankings took the Bulldogs from the top spot to No. 7.
That was hardly a surprise given the way it was thoroughly beaten Saturday 40-17 by Auburn, which rose from No. 10 to No. 6.
The new No. 1 revealed is Alabama followed in the top four by No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Miami and No. 4 Oklahoma. Wisconsin is No. 5.
Georgia at 9-1 still is in a prime spot to be in the four-team field if it beats Kentucky and Georgia Tech and is a one-loss SEC champion after defeating Alabama or Auburn.
“Everything we want to do is still out there,” senior tight end Jeb Blazevich said. “Of course, we still have to hope for that. Nothing matters if we don’t win this weekend.”
Georgia, which held the No. 1 spot the first two weeks of rankings, has wins over No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 16 Mississippi State.
In the first three years of the playoff, three teams have ranked No. 7 or lower in the third week of rankings and still made the playoff: Oklahoma at No. 7 and Michigan State at No. 9 in 2015 and Ohio State at No. 8 in 2014.
The largest margins of defeat for a playoff team so far was Ohio State losing 35-21 in a September game to Virginia Tech in 2014 and Washington losing to Southern California 26-13 last season on Nov. 12.
Selection committee chair Kirby Hocutt was asked on ESPN’s rankings show how much weight is placed on how bad a team looked in a lopsided loss.
“Every win, every loss is a part of the body of work, the resume that we look at each and every week,” Hocutt said. “We don’t incent margin of victory but we know when a convincing victory takes place. If we find ourselves in that position as we have and I’m sure we will in the three weeks ahead, the selection committee will have to work hard and make sure we get it right, which we will.”