With a full weekend of rivalries, including a 62-39 BEATDOWN in The Game, and the highest scoring CFB game in the history of the sport, there is just one slate of games before we find out who will be playing on New Years Eve for a spot in the National Championship Game. With that, we see 4 match-ups between Top 25 teams, and 3 that will have a HUGE impact on who we see in the CFP Committee’s final rankings.
First I want to talk about the marquee match-up for this week, #1 Alabama vs. #4 Georgia- We get a rare National Championship rematch in what will likely decide who returns to the dance this season. Though Bama has been clearly the best team in football so far this season, I doubt the Committee could survive another year of putting a non-champion Alabama team into the playoff for the simply fact that they are Bama. With that being said, I don’t think that the matter will be left up to the Committee’s judgement, Bama will be too much for a Georgia team that has looked shaky on defense this year. Tide roll, 34-23.
Next I’m going to look at the easiest pick of the week, #2 Clemson vs. Pitt- This one is pretty straightforward, Clemson will win and it will not be close. the ACC is easily the worst Conference in the country and Clemson is the only decent team in there. Clemson wins, 41-10.
In the Big 12, we’ll see #5 Oklahoma taking on #14 Texas- This game has major implications for the CFP, and a loss ends any hope that Oklahoma will return to the Playoff. There is also a possibility that a close win, or a poor defensive performance could keep Oklahoma out if Ohio State is able to trounce Northwestern. Oklahoma has one of the worst defenses in the Country, and I’m not sure that another shootout is the best way for them to make it in. They need a big win, and I don’t think that they can stop Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns from putting up points. Sooners take a close one, 44-41.
The Big 10 has a high stakes game for #6 Ohio State, who meets #21 Northwestern in Indy- This is a big game for Ohio State, who need some help from Texas for a playoff birth. The upside for the Bucks is that just a few years ago they were able to sneak into the 4 slot after a 59-0 ROUT of Wisconsin. The Committee could have a big decision on their hands if Ohio State shows up this week, and I think that Urban will have the troops ready for the biggest game of the year to this point. Ohio State dominate, 48-10.
The Pac 12 has zero implications on the Playoff, but will be the deciding factor for whether we see #11 Washington or #17 Utah in the Rose Bowl. I think that the Utes will be simply too much for a Washington that has struggled at times this season. Utes take it 27-21.
I think that this week makes it VERY difficult for the Committee to decide a final 4, but I think that Oklahoma’s defense will hurt them in the end, while Ohio State is able to once again sneak into an unlikely playoff birth.