Oct. 15, 2016
Magnificent 7: 7 College Football Teams Left For a Playoff Chance
Last week it was 11 teams with a viable shot. Now we say bye-bye to 4 of them. And it is now 7. How did that come to be?
1. Ohio State beat Michigan. That eliminates Michigan's playoff chances and no conference championship game for the Wolverines.
2. Florida lost to Florida State. Granted, it seemed like that was a foregone conclusion.
3. The wins by Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Washington, and Colorado probably seals the last two Big 12 teams of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Ohio State took down Oklahoma while everybody else mentioned will have played an extra game, and yes it does matter with game #13. Sorry Big 12 fans.
So let's see the "playoff scenarios" now.
GETS IN IF: Beats Florida in SEC Championship
The Tide's dominance might give them the nod eve if they lost and given how you have 0 losses from them and they were ranked #1 overall when the rest were undefeated has to say something. But it is pretty much a foregone conclusion and they are playing a weak Florida team. Can't see this go any other way. PLAYOFF CHANCES 9/10
2. OHIO STATE
GETS IN IF: Wisconsin beats Penn State in Big Ten Championship, Virginia Tech beats Clemson in ACC Championship, OR Colorado beats Washington in PAC-12 Championship
As I mentioned in my top 5, I think Ohio State SHOULD be in the playoff, despite not going to the Big Ten Championship. That said, those conference titles are a big thing for the committee. But can you really propel Wisconsin over Ohio State with the head-to-head matchup? I don't think so. That is where it gets tricky. If Penn State wins, I would be very scared if I were Ohio State at that point since the Lions did beat the Bucks. So honestly, I don't know if this is a slam dunk yet for Ohio State. And despite the big wins of Michigan, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, you have to wonder if the lack of a conference title bites them and also remember the whole playoff thing was to reward conference champions. If Penn State wins, I'd be very worried if I was the Buckeyes. PLAYOFF CHANCES: 5/10
GETS IN IF: Beats Virginia Tech in ACC Championship.
Simple as that and yes, they have played inspired ball since the Pittsburgh loss. However, the Hokies present a great offense with a great defense. If the Tigers think they will stroll in the ACC Championship and get handed the W by Virginia Tech, this will be a major issue for Clemson. This is not the matchup Clemson needs. I think they would have much preferred North Carolina than this. PLAYOFF CHANCES: 7/10
GETS IN IF: Beats Colorado in PAC-12 Championship and Penn State beats Wisconsin in Big Ten Championship OR beats Colorado in PAC-12 Championship and Virginia Tech beats Clemson in ACC Championship.
Would Washington be jumped over by Wisconsin or Penn State while Ohio State does not fall back? Many might point to the iffy schedule (Stanford, Utah, and Colorado are their big wins while having zero value out-of-conference games). I think if Penn State wins, it will propel the Nittany Lions over Ohio State and you cannot have Washington get jumped by them if they beat Colorado. This is probably the best shot for the Huskies. CHANCES: 5/10
GETS IN IF: Beats Penn State in Big Ten Championship
The Badgers are no stranger to these games (4 of the last 6 years they have found themselves in Indianapolis). They are a good team and have a great run game. That said, they are running into a buzzsaw in Penn State who is firing on all cylinders and I wasn't keen on how they played Minnesota this week, so Penn State might be a bit ahead in my book here. I think they sneak ahead of the 1-loss champ Washington though. CHANCES 4/10
6. PENN STATE
GETS IN IF: Beats Wisconsin for Big Ten Championship
The Nittany Lions will hold that head-to-head matchup with Ohio State and might sneak past the Buckeyes in the rankings. And right now they are playing the best football in the Big Ten with a strong balance on both sides. I am not sure if I could go against the Nittany Lions at this point. CHANCES: 6/10
GETS IN IF: Beats Washington for PAC-12 Championship and Virginia Tech beats Clemson in ACC Championship
I don't think the Buffaloes can jump either Big Ten winner at this point AND Ohio State. The best and only bet is beating Washington and getting help from Virginia Tech. So it is still pretty simple, but there are two tough tasks. But then again, I said the tasks would be tough for the Huskies and look what happened. CHANCES: 3/10
How I see things panning out next week and just by my dysfunctional crystal ball I will have to say this:
Alabama beats Florida
Penn State beats Wisconsin
Clemson beats Virginia Tech
Washington beats Colorado
Your playoff will be 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Washington 4. Penn State
Ohio State is on the outside looking in, thus enraging that base and I would have to agree with them, but I do think the committee will hold that conference title over them. They did it last year and nobody paid attention given Stanford was at #5 and Ohio State was at #6
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat