The College Football Playoff Committee released their weekly rankings on Tuesday and it narrowed the field down to 8 teams. Still in contention we have, Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Alabama, Georgia, Miami, and Ohio State. Week 12 shook up the rankings in a big way, after Alabama and Miami were both upset on the road. These losses cleared the way for Clemson to jump back on top.
Never before in the CFP era have the conference championship games meant so much. The winners of both the ACC and SEC title games will be in, while the losers will likely end up just outside the top 10. In the Big 12, we will see TCU take on Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield and his OU Sooners. This one is a rematch of the 38-20 victory Oklahoma took in Week 10, and is as simple as it can get for the Sooners; Win and you’re in.
Where things start to become murky is if Ohio State can knock off undefeated Wisconsin in the BIG 10 Championship Saturday night. Though the committee has doubted Wisconsin throughout the season, a win over Ohio State would buff their resume and seal their trip to the Playoff. If the Buckeyes can beat the Badgers however, there will be one spot left for the two remaining teams; Ohio State and Alabama.
Before the rankings came out Tuesday, the number one question on everyone’s mind was who the committee would pick. Do they take a 1 loss Alabama without a SEC East division title, whose highest quality win was number 17 LSU? Or do they decide on a two loss Ohio State, one of which was a 31 point blowout at 7-5 Iowa, who would have a BIG 10 title as well as three top 15 wins? That’s where speculation builds, and the committee would need to decide what is more important, good wins or bad losses.
Unfortunately, it seems as though the committee has already made its decision by placing Alabama three slots ahead of the Buckeyes. Even with a win, the odds of a three spot jump are extremely unlikely for the Bucks. Of course, many thought the same thing back in 2014 before the committee placed OSU in the playoff over undefeated TCU and Baylor. Thats what makes college football so great, even when things seem clear, there’s always unpredictable elements that can completely shift the meta. We’ll see ‘Who’s In’ during the selection show Sunday at 12 EST on ESPN.
BIG 10 Championship- Ohio State 41, Wisconsin 27
Big 12 Championship- Oklahoma 28, Texas Christian 24
SEC Championship- Georgia 31, Auburn 20
ACC Championship- Miami 17, Clemson 14
PAC 12 Championship- USC 24, Stanford 17