College Playoffs – Who Still Has a Shot?

So it all comes down to the final week of the College Football Regular season and this might be the first time that things don’t “Fix Themselves”. In the past things looked like a mess with a week or 2 left but things seemed to play out and there were very little questions on who should make the playoffs. This year things could be very different. The SEC is the biggest cog in the playoff problem. Will the committee take a one loss Alabama team that isn’t even playing in a their conference championship game? Other things that come into play is who wins this week in the ACC, Big-10 & Big-12 Championships. So lets break it down and give scenarios for teams making the playoffs. We will use the current AP Rankings since the FCS rankings don’t come out until tonight.

1. Clemson (11-1)plays Miami-FL in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers are a 9½ point favorite. Things for Clemson are pretty cut and dry. Win and you are in and probably the #1 seed in the playoffs. If they lose, they are probably out unless Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Auburn all lose and more than likely the closer the losses the better for the Tigers.

2. Oklahoma (11-1)plays TCU in the Big-12 Championship Game. The Sooners are a 7 point favorite. Much like Clemson, the playoff scenario is easy. Win and in, lose and your out. Since Oklahoma is playing #10 TCU, a loss would pretty much rule them out of the playoff. If Oklahoma wins they should be either the #1, #2 or #3 seed depending on how their score and others in the top come out.

3. Wisconsin (12-0) plays Ohio St in the Big-10 Championship Game. The Badgers and Central Florida are the only 2 remaining undefeated Division 1 teams and the Badgers are the only undefeated in the Big 5 conferences. Still their schedule has come into question for not having to play a tough schedule this year. Still they have 3 wins over Top 25 opponents and getting a win over in the Big-10 Championship as a 6½ point underdog against Ohio St should finally get them respect. If they lose they will drop way out of the playoff picture.

4. Auburn (10-2) plays Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers are a 2½ point favorite. This is where things get tricky. No 2 loss team has ever made the 4-team CFB Playoff. Auburn could be the first with a win over Georgia. The Tigers have been the hottest team around late in the season knocking off two #1 teams (Georgia & Alabama). If Auburn were to lose to Georgia they would be out, but who would be in then, Alabama, Georgia or someone else?

5. Alabama (11-1) is done with their regular season. I believe the loss to Auburn last week should be the dagger for the Tide this year. They are living on reputation. The big argument for Wisconsin is they haven’t played anyone, well Alabama has only 3 wins over Top-25 teams (Florida St, Mississippi St & LSU). Of those three, Florida St in no longer ranked and needs a win this week to just be bowl eligible, Mississippi St is ranked #24 and LSU is ranked just #17. For Alabama to get into the playoff I believe that two of the top 4 teams will have to lose this week.

6. Georgia (11-1) plays Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. A win in the SEC Championship should be enough for the Bulldogs to jump over Alabama and Auburn into the playoffs. The only way they don’t jump Auburn with a win is if it was a tight game. Auburn beat the Bulldogs 40-17 earlier and a close win this week might not be enough.

7. Miami-FL (10-1) plays Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. The Hurricanes loss last week to Pittsburgh really hurt their playoff chances. To make the playoffs they are going to have to beat Clemson and get some help. They will also need a loss by Oklahoma or Wisconsin. Then it will come down to how convincing of a win they have compared to teams like Ohio St or TCU.

8. Ohio St (10-2) plays Wisconsin in the Big-10 Championship Game. This is where playoff chances start getting thin. The Buckeyes need a dominant win this week and help. I believe they will need Clemson and Oklahoma to both lose. The bad thing about Clemson losing is that it means that Miami-FL won and will be moving up too. Then it comes down to the voters.

9. Penn St (10-2) is done with their regular. season. Their regular season is done and so are their playoff hopes.

10. TCU (10-2) plays Oklahoma in the Big-12 Championship Game. They have the same situation as Ohio St, except worse since they are behind Ohio St. It would take an incredible performance and just the right sc ores in the other games for the Horned Frogs to sneak in.

11. USC (10-2) plays Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Sorry for being the bearer of bad news but I see no scenario that would get USC to jump all the way to #4.

12. UCF (11-0) plays Memphis in the AAC Championship Game. It has been a great year and an incredible turnaround for Scott Frost and his Golden Knights but playing in a smaller conference is going to keep them out of the playoff picture.

So that is what we have. I give you 7 teams (Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, & Miami-Fl) with good chances to get into the playoff and 2 others (Ohio St and TCU) with outside shots. If we had an 8-team playoff like I expect in the next 5 years or so I would put in all 12 of these teams along with Washington, Stanford, Notre Dame and Memphis still with a shot to make the playoffs. How do you think things will play out. Either way it is going to be fun and we should see some great football this weekend and into the post-season. Make sure you get all of our Razor Sharp selections for the rest of the College Football plus the NFL, NBA, College Hoops and the NHL at at http://www.freeplays.com/handicapper.asp?serviceID=8010 .

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