Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
The Georgia Bulldogs failed to cash in on a halftime lead against the Alabama Crimson Tide for the third time under Kirby Smart.
As a result, the SEC East side is expected to fall a few positions in the latest AP Top 25, which will be released Sunday.
Georgia will not be the only team dropping a few spots from a top-five position after Week 7, as the North Carolina Tar Heels were upset on the road by the Florida State Seminoles. The problems facing voters is how far to drop Georgia and North Carolina and which teams are worthy of sliding into their positions.
No teams ranked from No. 6 to No. 10 played in Week 7, either because of their conference’s late start date or postponed games.
In fact, only three programs listed from No. 6 to No. 16 captured victories Friday and Saturday, which makes piecing together the Top 25 order quite the difficult task.
Top 25 Shakeup Predictions
Georgia Falls 2 Positions
Georgia once again looked threatening against Alabama in the first half, as it did in the 2018 National Championship Game and 2018 SEC Championship Game.
But just like those two matchups, the Bulldogs were unable to keep the lead until the final whistle and were outclassed by the Crimson Tide.
Alabama shut out Georgia 21-0 in the second half and finished with 564 total yards compared to 414 from the Bulldogs.
Athlon Sports’ Bryan Fischer pointed out Saturday marked the third time in Smart’s tenure as Georgia coach that his team allowed more than 500 total yards:
The final touch is still lacking from Georgia, which is why it should fall a few places in the Week 8 polls.
At minimum, Georgia should slide behind the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Ohio State Buckeyes, who should be in the College Football Playoff conversation along with the Bulldogs, Alabama and the Clemson Tigers.
Although Notre Dame was not impressive in its 12-7 win over the Louisville Cardinals, it remains undefeated and deserves the proper recognition. Ohio State opens the Big Ten slate in Week 8 and should jump ahead of the Bulldogs.
Because of North Carolina’s loss and the inactivity of the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cincinnati Bearcats, both of whom are 3-0, the Bulldogs should slot into the No. 5 slot.
Georgia has a chance to reinforce its position as the second-best SEC team in its next two-game stretch, which begins October 31 against the Kentucky Wildcats.
North Carolina Tumbles Out of Top 10
While Georgia’s loss was expected by some, North Carolina’s tumble from the undefeated ranks was not.
Mack Brown’s program fell behind by 24 points at halftime to Florida State. That was the third-largest halftime deficit for an AP top-five team against an unranked foe in the past 15 years, per ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
FSU led by 24 points at halftime vs No. 5 UNC.
That is its largest halftime lead vs an AP Top-5 opponent since 1964 against No. 5 Kentucky (27)
UNC’s 24-point halftime deficit is the 3rd-largest by an AP Top-5 team vs an unranked team over the last 15 seasons
H/T @EliasSports https://t.co/Y3WNUXHJEg
The Tar Heels put together a valiant comeback attempt in the second half, but a few drops on the final drive cost them the chance to send the contest to overtime or win it outright in the final minute.
While the inactivity of certain teams will help soften the blow for Georgia, it could damage North Carolina’s spot in the polls. Georgia may stay in the top five if voters believe it is still a playoff contender and can earn another shot at Alabama by reaching the SEC Championship Game.
North Carolina is still a program on the rise in Brown’s second tenure as head coach, and it proved to be a pretender in the top five.
With that in mind, the Tar Heels could slip outside of the top 10 behind Ohio State and the Penn State Nittany Lions from the Big Ten, undefeated sides Oklahoma State and Cincinnati and one or both of the Florida Gators and Texas A&M Aggies from the one-loss ranks.
The Tar Heels have a chance to build up goodwill with the voters with four unranked foes ahead on the schedule before a two-game stretch against Notre Dame and Miami.
For now, though, North Carolina is a borderline top-10 program that needs a quality win or two to move back into the spots among the nation’s top playoff contenders.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.