Well, we have reached the penultimate week of the College Football Playoff rankings, and the Top 4 teams held serve going into the final week of the season – Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa.
So without further ado, “The Mad Scientist” will no analyze would could happen after “Conference Championship Week”.
First scenario (and probably the most likely scenario of them all) – All the top teams (sans Oklahoma due to the Big 12 not having a conference championship game), win out, and the Top 4 stays the same.
Second scenario (minor change to the Top 4) – Clemson and Alabama hold serve, and #5 Michigan State beats #4 Iowa, and Michigan State will get the Top 4 ranking for winning the Big 10 Championship
Third scenario (this is where it starts to get hairy) – Alabama and the winner of MSU/Iowa are in, and North Carolina pulls off the upset and defeats Clemson in the ACC Championship game, knocking Clemson out of the Top 4. Clemson would lose it’s bid, and this would open the door to either the committee jumping North Carolina 6 spots to the Top 4, or bringing in Stanford (if they win the PAC-12 Championship over USC) to the Top 4.
Fourth scenario (even more hair) – Clemson, MSU/Iowa winner hold serve, and Alabama loses to Florida in the SEC championship game. The SEC (perish the thought) would be left out (I can’t see the committee granting Florida a Top 4 birth), and once again, opens the door to Stanford to come into the Top 4 (again dependent on winning the PAC-12 championship game).
Fifth scenario (armageddon) – Clemson loses to North Carolina, Alabama loses to Florida, and Stanford loses to USC. The only guarantees would be Oklahoma and the winner of MSU/Iowa. After that – lord knows where this can go. Does North Carolina get in? Does Florida get in? Could it be that Ohio State and even Notre Dame get some love? The possibilities (and the controversy that goes with it) is endless.
Now, you are all asking why am I not saying anything about Oklahoma? As mentioned earlier, the Big 12 does not have a championship game, and we saw what happened last year with TCU and Baylor being left out. It is pretty simple – the landscape is much clearer for the Big 12 this year. Oklahoma is their UNDISPUTED conference champion, and they ran the gauntlet of all gauntlets, beating Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State in their last 3 games, which equated to a CFP Knockout game each week. Yes, they lost to Texas, but it was very early in the season, and the committee will think so as well (I give you Ohio State’s Week 2 loss last year to a 7-6 Virginia Tech team as an example).
So ladies and gents, there you have it. One more week of bedlam, and it will all be sorted out. Personally, I am so hoping for the fifth scenario, as I want to see where this all goes in the end.
You can catch my show every Saturday Night at 10pm EST on Blog Talk Radio – “The Mad Scientist’s Sports Lab” and on Twitter at @NAF_Inscriber.
This post has also been brought to you by DeWalt Brewery Company – You may not always drink beer, but when you do….make your choice Noisey Lever Ale. Prepare Yourself – DeWalt Brewery Company.