It seems like just yesterday that I woke up on the Saturday morning of Week 0 and for the first time since February, there was meaningful football to watch. College Gameday was at Disney World and we all prepared to watch Miami vs. Florida and Arizona vs. Hawaii. Since that day, we have watched 3 different teams sit on top of the AP Poll without any one of them losing a single game. That’s right, 2 teams have been removed as the #1 team without losing a game. This season has been fucking bananas!
There are still a handful of teams with playoff hopes left, but the next month of the season will either narrow it downeasily, or open up the shitstorm the NCAA is not ready to face, which is that we need an 8 team playoff.
Over the last 3 weeks it seems like teams were getting eliminated left and right, until Oklahoma lost, which then opened the door for all the 1 loss P5 teams to still have a shot at sneaking in. Every week, from here until the conference championship games, there is at least 1 big game that will have a MAJOR impact on the CFB Playoff this year.
That is not even counting the upsets that we are sure to see over the next few weeks, but worry not, I am here to paint the entire picture for you.
#8 Georgia vs. #6 Florida in Jacksonville, Florida
This is a battle for SEC East Superiority. Whoever wins this game is in the driver’s seat to get to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. The loser is fucking done. The winner of this game will have their shot at making the playoff. They will have to beat Alabama or LSU, but if they do that, they are almost guaranteed to be in.
#9 Utah @ Washington & #7 Oregon @ USC
I think Oregon wins their game pretty easily, but any missteps this week and they are done. Utah on the other hand has a much tougher matchup with a very talented Washington team. They are better than their record and are extremely well coached. Their 3 losses are by a combined 15 points and they know that they can ruin Utah’s season with a win.
(Sidenote-Oregon is on in primetime this week, so if you have not watched them, take this chance to see how good they really are.)
Win & You’re In Game
#1 LSU @ #2 Alabama
What a fucking matchup this is going to be. Two of the best teams in the country led by two of the best QBs in the country in what is shaping up to be one of the biggest regular season games in CFB history. It’s pretty simple, whoever wins is essentially in. Alabama still has Auburn, but I think winning this guarantees their spot in the top 4, while LSU has it pretty easy after this one. The loser is not out though. The loser of this game needs the winner to win the SEC Championship game in order to get in as a 1 loss non-conference champ.
Driver’s Seat Game
#5 Penn State @ #13 Minnesota
For the first time in CFB history there will be 2 games between opponents who are both 8-0 or better. These two teams have not gotten the love that Bama/LSU has gotten, but win this game and they will. Whoever wins this game is not in, but the loser is also not completely out of it. If Penn State wins, they still have to beat OSU and then possibly Minnesota again, Wisconsin, or Iowa in the B1G Championship Game. With a Minnesota win, they still have Iowa and Wisconsin left on the schedule before having to beat either Ohio State or PSU again in the B1G Championship. The winner of this game is in the driver’s seat to make it to Indianapolis.
#10 Oklahoma @ #12 Baylor
The loser of this game will be out, no matter how you look at it. Baylor has not played a strong enough schedule to justify getting in as a 1 loss team while OU has no chance with 2 losses. The Big 12 is a stretch to get a team in at all and Baylor staying undefeated may be their best chance.
#23 Wake Forest @ #4 Clemson
Since WF was like 3-0, every CFB fan in the country saw this as the only real chance Clemson loses. They have not looked great, but WF has looked good enough to maybe have a chance at pulling this upset off. If Clemson loses they are done and this will be their biggest test of the season.
#5 Penn State @ #3 Ohio State
I truly see the SEC as the only conference that has a chance to get a 1 loss team in this year. A loss by PSU to Minnesota does not eliminate them, but a loss to OSU here does. Just as well, a loss by OSU to PSU here will eliminate them as the winner of this game will most likely represent East in the B1G Championship Game.
#7 Oregon @ Arizona State
The Pac-12 is loaded with solid teams and here is another one that Oregon is running into. Traveling to Tempe is going to be tough and Oregon needs to watch out if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Week 14 of the CFB season means one thing! Fucking rivalry games!
#2 Alabama @ #11 Auburn
If Alabama has already beaten LSU then they have pretty much clinched their spot in the CFB Playoff. If they lose that game then this becomes a must win. I really don’t think we see a situation where Bama or LSU only loses 1 game and they don’t get in, so this will be huge for Bama if they do lose to LSU. You always have to be weary of the upsets in these rivalry games.
#4 Clemson @ South Carolina
This really hasn’t been much of a rivalry with Clemson dominating most of the past decade, but this year seems different. SC has beaten Georgia on the road and Clemson has struggled on the road at times this year. I’ll say it again, a 1 loss Clemson team is out no matter what.
#3 Ohio State @ #14 Michigan
If OSU loses this game they are done. This is their biggest rival and if they beat PSU, they will need this win to get to Indy. They lose their out and Jim Harbaugh’s entire Michigan career would be resurrected if he knocked OSU out of the playoffs this year.
Conference Championship Week
Pretty much every conference championship game is an elimination or a win and you’re in game. In the 5 years of the Playoff, only 2 of the 20 teams selected were not conference champions. Not winning your conference is not a dealbreaker, but it is obviously important to the committee. Everybody get your fucking popcorn ready because the next 5 weeks are going to be wild as shit!
Updated CFB Playoff Prediction
OSU over LSU
Alabama over Clemson
OSU over Alabama