College Football Playoff Top 10 and Scenarios: Party Crashers Have Arrived

College Football Playoff Top 10 and Scenarios: Party Crashers Have Arrived

 
A wild and crazy Week 13 is in the books. The party crashers (Auburn, USC, TCU, Ohio State) have officially showed up to the party. Let the debates begin. The College Football Playoff committee nearly has a mess on its hands. This mess is fun, however, it could be more easily sorted out if the teams scheduled more than one good non-conference game. The clamoring for an eight-team playoff is about to heat up. I really hope it happens as soon as the current College Football Playoff contract is up. It is likely that we finally see at least one two-loss team in the playoff ahead of one-loss teams. I will break down the scenario for every team and conference to get in the playoff. Let’s start with the baseline of what I am projecting the committee’s top 10 to look like on Tuesday:
1.          Clemson
2.          Oklahoma
3.          Auburn
4.           Wisconsin
5.           Georgia
6.           Alabama
7.           Ohio State
8.           USC
9.           Miami
10.      TCU
11.      Penn State
The biggest question that everyone has is how does the committee look at Alabama. Last year’s committee put Ohio State in the top four instead of Big 10 champion Penn State due to “strength of team”. Will they repeat the precedent set last year? When you look at the Crimson Tide’s schedule, they really only have two solid (LSU, Mississippi State) wins and no great wins. So the question is how will the committee value the one and two loss conference champions against Alabama who won’t even play for theirs.
SEC
There are still 3 teams alive: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia
Alabama Needs– TCU to beat Oklahoma, Wisconsin to beat Ohio State, and USC to lose to Stanford. It doesn’t matter who wins the SEC or ACC. The champion from those conferences is absolutely in the playoff. They need the committee to value them highly with the “eye test” and find it difficult to leave Nick Saban and Alabama out over a two-loss TCU or USC.
Auburn Needs– Win the SEC championship game vs Georgia and they are in. Pray the committee doesn’t screw you and put Alabama in.
Georgia Needs– Win the SEC championship game vs Auburn and they are in. Lose and they are behind multiple 2 loss teams and 1 loss Alabama.
BIG XII
Oklahoma Needs– Win the Big XII championship vs TCU and they are in.
TCU Needs– Wisconsin to beat Ohio State, USC lose to Stanford, Georgia to beat Auburn, and beat Oklahoma in the Big XII championship. They would be sitting at 2 losses after beating a Top 2 team. The ACC Champion does not affect them.
Big 10
Wisconsin and Ohio State are both still alive and the scenarios for them to get in the top four are pretty straight forward and reasonably likely
Wisconsin Needs– Beat Ohio State in the Big 10 championship and they are in, no questions asked.
If Wisconsin losses the Big 10 championship: Due to their weak schedule there aren’t enough scenarios to get them in the college football playoff if they lose.
Ohio State Needs– Beat Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship, Stanford beat USC, Oklahoma beat TCU, and Georgia to beat Auburn. Their only competition with that scenario would be Alabama, however, it will be up to the committee’s “eye” test. Alabama’s case would be much weaker it Georgia beats Auburn, who beat them.
If USC does not lose Ohio State could be in trouble. USC may get the nod to the college football playoff because their resume (Strength of Schedule, Top-40 wins, and Strength of record) is better.

If TCU wins the Big XII and USC loses that could get very interesting. I believe Ohio State would get the edge by the committee in this situation simply due to the fact that they are THE OHIO STATE and money talks in these situations.
ACC
Miami and Clemson Needs- Win the ACC championship game and they are in. The loser has two losses. There are no scenarios that the ACC gets two teams in the Playoffs, especially one with two losses, so the recipe is simple, win and you are in, lose and you are out.
Though I believe the ACC champion is in I can imagine a weird, way out discussion that could happen if Miami is champion. There could be a debate about leaving the ACC out altogether for Alabama. Miami’s season is one game shorter due to the hurricane and after Notre Dame’s loss to Stanford, their win against the Fighting Irish holds less weight.
Pac-12
USC Needs– They need to win the Pac-12 championship game against Stanford in an impressive fashion, Georgia to beat Auburn, Oklahoma to beat TCU. The outcome of the ACC likely has no impact on USC because the loser of Miami vs Clemson will have two losses and will absolutely be behind every conference champion.
The scenarios for USC to get in the playoff are becoming more and more likely with every passing day.
Things I believe:
  1. More chaos will ensue.
  2. Alabama misses the Playoff
  3. Either two-loss Ohio State, USC, or TCU gets in the Playoff 
  4. Either two of this three misses the Playoff: Oklahoma, Clemson, Wisconsin
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