Every year, there are between 0 (rare) and 3 (rare) Power5 teams with no losses. Normally, 1 or 2. Those guys always make the playoffs.
There are usually between 2 and 6 one-loss teams. They fill out the rest of the CFP. Usually 2 or 3 of them are selected. Averages out to about 4 one-loss teams competing for the remaining 2.5 spots. So better than 50/50, but not a lot better.
No 2-loss team has ever made it into the CFP, and none will until it expands to 12 teams.
With 2 losses there is 0% chance. With 1 loss the chances would be slim, especially if the other 1 loss teams are USC. Ohio St. and Clemson. I don't think we have the juice yet to leapfrog them if they are conference champs.
If we were to beat Bama at home but lose in Athens, that would give Bama that one loss and we would need Georgia to win the SECCG to give Bama a 2nd loss. We would definitely make the playoffs because it would mean we beat 2 top 25 teams, 1 top 10, & 1 top 5 with the only loss being to #1 Georgia. We could make the playoffs without playing in the SECCG if we only lose to UGA the rest of the way.
We're not there yet. Defense has a ways to go. There are teams out there that can slow our offense down quite a bit. Fact is, we will play two of them this year. Maybe three.
If we're 8-0 at the end of October, maybe we have this conversation, since UGA would be the only real threat left. But until and unless we get to that point, the chance is zero. We're just not there yet.
OTOH, who among us at the beginning of the '21 season had any idea that this thread would pop up 4 games into the '22 season. That says a lot about how far this program has come, and what we all see in terms of potential in the future.
Unexpected success is a good problem to have. Go Vols.
Honestly, if we beat LSU and Bama it may actually be a good thing to lose to UGA. Then they win the East and have to battle out the SEC Championship and a 1 loss Tennessee just slides into the playoffs.
Win em all, I could see our only loss being to Georgia yet they still find a way to put a 2 loss Bama in the playoff because they played Georgia tough in the title game. Kinda kidding, kinda not. I can't see a logical argument for that to happen, but this is Tennessee, and we ALWAYS find new ways to get screwed.
Before this season started, I believe the team had realistic chance at a New Year's Day bowl victory, and I'll stand by that...Bama, UGA, Clemson, and OSU/Michigan will be the top four. I believe next year, with Milton as QB 1, will be the year Tennessee crashes the party.
IMHO, UT cannot make it unless undefeated. I think both UGA and Bama would have to lose twice for UT to make it in with a loss. tOSU is almost a shoe in. I think Clemson has to lose twice to not be in. A one loss Michigan team would be taken ahead of UT as would a one loss Oregon or Utah team.
Unfortunately, "what have you done lately" counts with the selection committee.
How about we concentrate on winning the next game and so on? The rest will take care of itself. You feel like gambling go buy a lottery ticket. What's the chance of making the playoffs if we lose the rest of the season? Get a life!
If Tennessee only has 1 loss and it's to Alabama in the regular season, we're in. Here's why...because that means we will have won the East and made the SECCG and won that.
If Tennessee only has 1 loss and it's in the SECCG, we're in. Because that means we beat everyone in the regular season, went to Atlanta ranked #1 or #2 (probably #1) and there's no way we fall below 4. Precedent says so.
If Tennessee has 1 loss and it's to Georgia, it probably depends on what happens in the SECCG. If Georgia beats Bama, Tennessee is in.
If Tennessee has 2 losses, it would be a less that 50% chance, but could happen. I don't see 3 SEC teams making it, so one of Georgia or Bama would have to have 2 or more losses and be left out.