Top 5 College Football Playoff Storylines Heading Into Week 13

What a difference a week makes in the race for the College Football Playoff. Last week, I declared No. 15 Auburn the most important team in the country. After their loss to No. 4 Georgia, Auburn is still the most important team in the country. Auburn’s loss hurt No. 6 Oregon’s and No. 5 Alabama’s (who has bigger problems) resume, but it strengthed No. 4 Georgia’s body of work.

This past Tuesday, the committee revealed their latest playoff rankings*. The top 6 remained the same as a week ago.

For comparison, my College Football Playoff includes:

  1. LSU
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Oregon

This weekend is highlighted by the “Big Ten Game of The Year,” No. 8 Penn State vs. No. 2 Ohio State. Can Penn State get back into the top 5 or will Ohio State surpass LSU for the top overall seed? Here are the Top 5 CFP storylines heading into Week 13.

Who Will Take Control Of The Big Ten East?

Penn State is the 8th ranked team in the playoff rankings. The Nittany Lions are no slouch. That being said, do you want to know the line for Saturday’s game? Penn State is an 18.5 point underdog against Ohio State. EIGHTEEN AND A HALF POINT UNDERDOG! Is Penn State not as good as we think or is Ohio State a lot better than we think? I’m leaning towards the Buckeyes being a superior team. Plus, Ohio State will welcome back top prospect Chase Young. Despite Penn State having a loss, if they beat Ohio State, the Nittany Lions will be in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten Championship. If Ohio State wins, the Buckeyes will play in the conference title game.

Life Without Tua

Tua Tagovailoa / Getty/Wesley Hitt

Tua Tagovailoa suffering a season-ending hip injury not only sucks for Alabama fans, but for college football fans in general. It’s a devastating blow for college football. That being said, all hope is not lost. The Crimson Tide are still one of the nation’s top teams even with backup quarterback Mac Jones under center. Alabama plays the little sisters’ of the poor (Western Carolina) on Saturday before traveling to Auburn next week. Don’t count out Alabama for the playoff just yet.

Bounce Back Game For Minnesota

I’m going to sit here and say No. 10 Minnesota was a fraudulent team. That’s not the case. Iowa is a tough place to play. Just ask Ohio State and Michigan how hard it is to win at Kinnick Stadium. There are no moral victories in losses, but Minnesota proved to me that they’re capable of being a force in the Big Ten West for years to come. That being said, their magical season is intact. If they defeat Northwestern on Saturday, the Gophers will have a winner-take-all game next week against No. 12 Wisconsin. Will the boat row into Wisconsin with only one blemish?

Can Baylor Ever Recover?

Move over, Atlanta Falcons. There’s a new member of the “28-3” club. Last Saturday night, Baylor was about to change the trajectory of its program. Up 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 at halftime, the Bears were in cruise control. Then, Jalen Hurts and the Sooners took over and mounted an improbable comeback, capped off by a field goal with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter to win, 34-31. I can’t even put into words how devastating of a loss that was for Baylor. However, their season is not over. They can still clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship with a win over Texas on Saturday. To add fuel to the fire, Oklahoma will most likely be their opponent in the conference title. Revenge game, anyone?

State Of The Pac-12

Oregon and No. 7 Utah are both 9-1 and sit atop of the Pac-12 North and Pac-12 South respectively. Both teams hit the road this weekend as Oregon plays Arizona State and Utah takes on Arizona. If both are 11-1 heading into the Pac-12 Championship, the winner of that game should make the College Football Playoff. The keyword is “should.” If you’re 100% convinced that the winner of the Pac-12 title game will make the playoff, then you haven’t followed college football the past five seasons. If Alabama is sitting at 11-1 at the end of the season, you’re crazy if you don’t think the committee will consider putting the Tide in. To be honest, the committee probably wants to put in Alabama over a Pac-12 champion. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s the truth. It’s not fair, but neither is life.

What are your top College Football Playoff storylines for Week 13? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow, or email us at immad@unafraidshow.com.

*Rankings used in this article are from the latest College Football Playoff Rankings.