Ok, I don't want any comments about the uselessness of speculating. Speculating is fun, and it's literally what we do as fans.
I was thinking today about what would happen if a team finished a perfect 12-0 but got bounced in their conference championship. Would that team still make the playoff? We can probably assume the team is #1 or #2 with that kind of record.
Does the committee give them a pass for playing (and losing) an extra game? Think back to last year when Georgia essentially had to prove themselves in the SEC championship while Bama only played 12 games and snuck in. To some degree, I don't think you should be penalized for losing a 13th game, provided you don't get blown out.
On the other hand, recency bias has always been a big deal for the voting committees. A loss immediately before Selection Sunday might come back to haunt you, even if you do end up 12-1 after losing a close one.
What do you think? Does it depend on the team (ie, the "brand")? There's no precedent for this yet but it's going to happen sooner or later.