Important caveat here IS that the Orange bowl is contractually obligated to take the highest ranked team from the SEC/B10/ or Notre Dame.
Edit: given contractual obligations, I don’t see how ND passes us even with a win at USC. If LSU takes a beat down in the SEC championship game, Vols would be the highest ranked team remaining bases on their selection criteria.
I think the orange bowl gets Notre Dame if they win this week. That will knock the SEC teams down a bowl, likely pushing LSU to the Cotton (makes sense geographically) and pushes TN to the Citrus bowl. After reviewing all the bowl tie-ins I really think the Citrus is our ceiling if ND wins against USC. This would have been amazing if you asked fans pre-season, but incredibly disappointing now.
If you are talking about our chances, I think we need the following aka Chaos:
LSU loses in Atlanta / 3rd loss kicks them out of Top 10
USC loses vs Notre Dame / 2 loss would drop them out of Top 6
TCU loses vs Iowa State to send them spiraling out of Top 10 with a loss to a 4-7 team
Clemson loses vs South Carolina or UNC to drop them at least behind us
If that happens in next 2 weeks, you'd have 10-2 Bama and 10-2 Tennessee and 11-1 OSU or Michigan loser sitting there with 13-0 UGA, 13-0 OSU/Michigan Winner (assuming they take Big Ten Title) with the final 2 playoff spots up for grabs.
If SC beats Clemson this weekend, they’ll be ranked in the top25 next week and our loss won’t be as “horrific” in the grand scheme of things. LSU in the playoffs will 100% guarantee TN a NY6 appearance to the Orange Bowl. We’d be the highest remaining team from their selection pool. I’m torn here. Cheer for LSU and a guaranteed NY6, or pull for the loss we all want them to have.
I still think the Aggies beat them this weekend in College Station and that’s a win win for everybody. I can see Ga playing a close game like they did against KY and the committee not punishing LSU for a close loss.
Yeah perception is you cant lose a starting qb and be better. Oddly enough Milton is a major wildcard. Its like he cant run the offense overall as efficiently but his ability to completely flip field on 1 play is far greater than Hookers was. However Hooker worked the field better and not as erratic. If Milton can show we can still score 30 to 40 points in a win who knows if the decision makers believe he is capable of a better opponent in a bowl or if they attribute it to Vanderbilt being weak.
Two week run from number 1 to number 10, will be interesting to see if Heupel can get the team back on track following a total collapse against South Carolina, if the internal problems and divisions are not fixed, it will show again Saturday night, but that is why the head coaches are the highest paid employees of the State of Tennessee year in and year out
And Washington, Michigan, Oregon, Penn St. Kansas St, and UNC. Then LSU loses to GA, OSU to Iowa, Clemson to UNC, TCU to KSTATE, USC to whomever. Then you have 3 loss champions Pac, Big 12, ACC, an OSU team that lost to Iowa and a OSU and MI team whose only wins were PSU who lost to Michigan St as runner ups to Iowa. If SC beats Clemson, LSU and Georgia win before they play each other that is huge in this mix. Vols and Milton destroy Vandy. That leaves Georgia, Bama and Tennessee and Notre Dame.
No one would ever have seen anything like it in CFB.