Breaking Down The College Football Playoff8 min read
I want to get right down to it, folks. The committee is coming out with their final playoff rankings before they officially pick the top 4 this evening, and Championship week has officially arrived. I’m going to say this again before we dive in to who the top 4 will be when it’s all said and done. Make this thing 8 teams. No Conference Championships, take one team from each of the power 5 conferences and 3 at large teams. There are currently nine teams still alive for the playoff and unfortunately there just aren’t enough seats at the table. Make this thing 8 teams.
Now, let’s get right to it
1. The SEC Champion is in
Either Auburn or Georgia is going to the Playoff. If you remember my post from a couple weeks ago I told you to watch out for Auburn. They had Alabama and Georgia at home and if they somehow won those games, they’d be playing in Atlanta for a chance to get in the Playoff. Not only did they win both those games, but they looked dominant. I hope Auburn fans can officially stop acting like Gus Malzahn is on the hot seat, because he’s got his team looking like a force to be reckoned with right now.
If Georgia wins…
I think the Bulldogs are your overall number one seed come Sunday. Georgia is the only team playing this week that can avenge their only loss of the season, that’s why I think they could slide all the way up to one. They will have avenged their only loss, which came at Jordan-Hare Stadium a couple weeks ago, and the Bulldogs will roll in to the Playoff as potentially the overall number one seed.
If Auburn wins…
This will be one of the best stories in college football in a long time. Auburn will have beat back-to-back overall number 1 seeds, and then they’ll have beat one of them again in the Championship game. I think that if the Tigers win, the Tigers ceiling is the one seed and their floor is the three. If Clemson beats Miami, Clemson will get the one because they will have the head-to-head over Auburn. I don’t care when the game was, Clemson beat Auburn. I’ve long said that playing the game has to matter, and Clemson beat Auburn earlier in the year. Nonetheless, Auburn wins and they’re in and they cap off the most amazing Playoff run we have seen yet.
2. The ACC Champion is in
We’ve got another play in game this Saturday in Charlotte. The winner of the Clemson vs Miami game will be in the College Football Playoff. A lot of people freaked out after Miami lost this past weekend up in Pittsburgh, but the Canes had a mulligan game in their back pocket. The only way that loss comes back to bite Miami is if they lose to Clemson in a barn burner, and the committee felt that they were still deserving of a playoff bid with that being their only loss. It’s now a must win game for both teams on Saturday.
If Clemson wins…
Dabo’s bunch will be either the one or two seed depending on what happens in the SEC Championship. Clemson’s one loss came on a Friday night up in Syracuse in a game where Kelly Bryant got injured. It’s not easy to replace guys like Deshaun Watson and other key starters, but Dabo has built an empire. It will never be “rebuild” for Clemson as long as he’s there, it will always be “reload.”
If Miami wins…
The turnover chain gang rolls in as the three seed more than likely. Make no mistake about it, Mark Richt’s bunch looked BAD this past weekend. The Canes had a little too much turkey on Thursday and came out half asleep on Friday against Pitt. I’m not going to read too far in to that game, because this team has proved that when the lights come on, they’re ready to go. Two of the most genuinely good dudes in College Football going at it on Saturday, and either Richt or Dabo will be in the playoff.
3. The Big 12 Just Can’t Quite Get it Right
The knock on Big 12 teams has always been that the conference is making it harder for them to get in to the Playoff without a Conference Championship game. Well, now they’ve got one, and guess what? It’s completely irrelevant! If the season ended today, Oklahoma would 100% be in the field of four. Now, they have to play one more game with absolutely nothing to gain and absolutely everything to lose. The Big 12 just can’t get it right.
If Oklahoma wins…
Baker Football is in the field and locks up the Heisman if he hasn’t done that already. Sometimes in College sports, passing the torch to a guy within the program works out magnificently, and that appears to be the case with Lincoln Riley. The ceiling for the Sooners is the 2 and the floor is the 3 assuming they get a win this weekend.
If TCU wins…
Chaos arrives. If you are someone who wants this thing to absolutely blow up, you are a Horned Frog fan this weekend. If TCU beats Oklahoma, I think the only guarantee is that Alabama is 100% in the Playoff. The next question would become which of the two loss teams do you take: 11-2 TCU, 11-2 Oklahoma, or 11-2 Ohio State (assuming the beat Wisconsin). My best guess would be that they take TCU because that would be the most logical decision. 11-2 Oklahoma went in to Columbus and smacked 11-2 Ohio State, so it would come down to 11-2 Oklahoma or TCU. I think they would take TCU just because they beat them in the Championship game. Again, chaos.
4. The Big Ten Championship Game
The most interesting game of the weekend. I want to make something extremely clear, there are very clear decisions for the committee no matter who wins this game. Let me tell you why.
Wisconsin has the worst 12-0 resume of any team in college football history that has ever been 12-0. However, if Wisconsin wins this game I don’t think there is any doubt they get in. 13-0 Wisconsin by default will be the 4 seed in the Playoff. There’s only one formula for the Badgers to get in, and that’s all on the line Saturday night in Indianapolis.
Ok. This is about as easy to say as it gets, but for some reason Ohio State has the least self aware fan base in all of sports. I’m going to say this as blunt as I possibly can.
It doesn’t matter if Ohio State wins, the Buckeyes have no chance at getting in to the Playoff. I am going to make this as clear as I possibly can. 11-1 Alabama is in above 10-2 Ohio State.
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
- Alabama went 7-1 against FBS teams with a .500 record or better. With a win over Wisconsin, Ohio State would be 5-2.
- Alabama has more wins against teams with winning records than Ohio State does.
- Alabama lost to its arch rival on the road by 12 points, an Auburn team that is playing in the SEC Championship game this weekend. Ohio State lost by 15 at home to Oklahoma, and by 31 points on the road to a 7-5 Iowa team.
And here’s what I think is the most humorous argument of them all, which shows why it’s the least self aware fan base in the world.
“Alabama didn’t play in their conference championship game and we did. A two loss conference champion is more deserving than a one loss team that didn’t play in a Conference Championship game.”
Hmmmmmm, that sounds familiar. Oh wait, it is the SAME ARGUMENT THAT ALL OF YOU USED LAST YEAR TO GET YOURSELVES IN TO THE PLAYOFF! Not only that, but last year there was a head-to-head match up to look at too! What you are disputing for Alabama this year is literally the exact same thing you argued in favor for last year.
There is just absolutely no way around this if you’re Ohio State. You got in last year based off reputation and being Ohio State, and Clemson made you look like a high school team. You’re a two loss team with one of those losses being by 30 at 7-5 Iowa. It is the least self aware fan base in sports, have fun in a New Years Six game.
5. The PAC 12 Has No Shot
Neither USC nor Stanford can get in. Not even going to get in to this one.
6. My Prediction
This is what I’m going with:
Auburn 27 Georgia 23. I think Georgia has the ball with a chance to win the game but I don’t think Jake Frohm makes the big time throws he needs to. War Eagle
Clemson 30 Miami 20. I think Mark Richt is one year away. Make no mistake about it, The U is back. I just think Dabo Swinney’s bunch is a little bit stronger up front, especially defensively.
Oklahoma 34 TCU 30. Baker Mayfield is getting in the the College Football Playoff. I think TCU keeps it close, but Baker makes one too many plays for thee Horned Frogs to overcome.
Ohio State 24 Wisconsin 16. Ohio State is better than Wisconsin. The Badger defense will keep OSU from running away with this, but they haven’t seen a team like Ohio State all year. Buckeyes prevail in Indy.
7. College Football Playoff
I’ll go with
Let’s see what happens. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.