After 14 weeks, the College Football Playoff comes down to the conference championships. By my calculations, seven teams can make the College Football Playoff: No. 1 Ohio State, No 2. LSU, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Utah, No. 6 Oklahoma, and No. 7 Baylor*. All of these teams will be in action this weekend in their respective championship games.
For comparison, my College Football Playoff includes:
- Ohio State
I still don’t agree with the committee’s decision to switch LSU and Ohio State since LSU never lost, but that should change this weekend if LSU beats Georgia. In Week 15, all eyes will be on the Pac-12 Championship, SEC Championship, Big 12 Championship, and the Big Ten Championship. Here are the top five CFP storylines heading into the weekend.
Will Ohio State Or LSU Make The Playoff If They Lose?
If Ohio State and LSU win their respective conference championships, they’ll make the College Football Playoff. That’s an obvious fact. However, what happens if Ohio State or LSU lose? Do both teams have strong enough cases to still make the Playoff? Truthfully, I’ve watched enough football this year to confidently say that Ohio State and LSU are two of the four best teams in the country. Between Ohio State’s domination and LSU’s wins against top-10 teams, their resumes are extremely strong and better than those of Utah, Oklahoma, and Baylor. In terms of which team can afford a loss more, it’s Ohio State since they’re currently at 1. To drop from 1 to 5 would be drastic for the Buckeyes if they lost to Wisconsin. I don’t have the same conviction for LSU if they lose to Georgia and either Utah, Oklahoma, or Baylor wins. However, if Ohio State and LSU win, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Is Ohio State Making A Case For Best Team Ever?
I’m jealous of Joel Klatt for tweeting this before me, but we’re both on the same page. This year’s Ohio State team is on track to become one of the best teams of all time. Besides the 11-point victory over Penn State, Ohio State has won every other game by at least 24 points. Furthermore, the Buckeyes are fifth in total offense and first in total defense. Ohio State has the stud quarterback in Justin Fields, the workhorse running back in J.K. Dobbins, and the best player in college football, Chase Young. If Ohio State rolls through No. 8 Wisconsin, Clemson, and LSU on the way to a National Championship, then the Buckeyes will go down as one of the best teams of all time.
Utah Needs To Put Pressure On The Committee With A Dominant Win
For the fifth-ranked team in the nation, Utah has gone fairly under-the-radar because of their lack of television presence on the East Coast. Make no mistake about it, the Utes are for real. Utah’s defense punches teams in the mouth and never backs off. Since their only loss to USC back in September, the Utes defense has given up 15 or more points once. Although Utah sits just outside of the playoff, I’m not convinced they have a “win and in.” Conventional wisdom says Utah gets in if Ohio State, LSU, and Clemson win and Georgia loses. However, Utah still needs to make a statement against Oregon and dominate from start to finish. Utah must silence its critics and put pressure on the committee to choose the Utes for the playoff.
Does The Big 12 Have Any Chance Of Making The Playoff?
To answer the question, yes, the Big 12 has a chance to make the playoff. Both Oklahoma and Baylor sit at 11-1. The winner would be 12-1 with a Power 5 conference championship. The only problem is both teams need Utah to lose in order to surpass them in the rankings. If Ohio State, LSU, and Clemson win and then Georgia and Utah lose, the Big 12 champion should make the playoff. I’m calling my shot. That’s exactly what’s going to happen. The top 3 teams will win, Georgia and Utah will lose, and Oklahoma will beat Baylor. Oklahoma is going to be the fourth playoff team. Bank on it.
Is Clemson Out Of The Playoff If They Lose To Virginia?
Yes. Next question. I like Clemson and believe they are one of the four best teams in the country. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clemson wins the whole thing. But if Clemson loses to Virginia in the ACC Championship, the Tigers don’t deserve to make the playoff. Clemson has the No. 85 strength of schedule and the worst loss in the Power 5 title games. Clemson must (and will) win on Saturday.
Bonus: Georgia Can Spoil The Party
Failing to write a paragraph about Georgia was not my intention. The Bulldogs are a good football team with impressive wins over No. 15 Notre Dame, No. 9 Florida, and No. 11 Auburn. The Bulldogs will keep it close against LSU. If the Bulldogs can force Burrow to make mistakes, Georgia could be representing the SEC in the playoff.
Also, how weird is it to see Alabama outside the top-10?
What are your top College Football Playoff storylines for Week 15? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Rankings used in this article are from the latest College Football Playoff Rankings.