College Football News: Playoff Picture as of 11/19/2014
A look at the college football playoff picture as of 11/19/2014
College football season 2014
Odd on the four team playoff contenders See the Latest Odds
One thing that all college football fans, analysts and reporters are debating about is which teams should be invited into the college football playoff. Like every sport, there is a ton of bias involved in the rankings, and an enormous amount of disagreement. Conventional wisdom says that there is going to be a ton of bias when it comes to the South Eastern Conference. And, rightfully so, it has been the most dominant conference in college football for almost a decade now. While many are stating their team's case for entering the playoff picture, it's still too early in the season to tell which teams really deserve it. However, it's easy to see how everything may pan out for all of the serious contenders. Don't feel like doing the homework yourself? That's okay, I'll do it for you. Without further ado, here's the scenario for each and every major college football playoff contender
Okay, let's start with Alabama, the number one team in the country. Its lone loss came at Ole Miss against the now eighth ranked team in the country. Going into the fourth quarter, Alabama had a seven-point lead on the Rebels. However, the Rebels rallied in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns and taking its first lead since the opening quarter with just under three minutes left in the game.
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Now the Crimson Tide are in the driver’s seat to make a statement if they can top Auburn in the Iron Bowl and then go onto win the SEC Conference crown. But that's a lot easier said than done! Just ask former Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton. But if they can come out on top versus Auburn, as it stands, they will most likely face Missouri in the conference title game. That's right, the same Missouri team that lost to the now 3-7 Indiana Hoosiers. Now let’s say that Alabama doesn’t win out, they lose in the Iron Bowl versus Auburn, and Mississippi State wins out. That means that Mississippi State would represent the SEC west in the conference title game. If either Alabama or Mississippi State faces off against Missouri or Georgia in the SEC title game that brings up an interested scenario. You see, if Georgia or Missouri wins, they will take the SEC conference title with two losses. Then comes an interesting debate. Would the committee take a two-loss SEC champion over a one-loss Big Ten team? How about a one-loss Big Twelve team or a one-loss Notre Dame team that took Florida State down to the wire? Things can get quite interesting when it comes to that pesky conference.
Onto Oregon. Despite having a questionable defense, the Ducks are most definitely the team to beat in the PAC 12 Conference. Led by the nation’s leading Heisman contender in Marcus Mariota, the Ducks are averaging 531 yards and 46 points per game. Mariota himself is averaging 330 total yards of offense and 3.7 total touchdowns per game. Oregon’s road to the college football playoff is within their reach. The PAC 12 title game will decide their fate, and if they lose to either USC or UCLA - teams with multiple losses- in the PAC 12 title game, we won't be seeing any team from that conference in the four team playoff. A two-loss PAC 12 team will not jump over a one-loss Big Twelve, ACC, Big Ten or FBS independent team and it definitely won’t jump over a one-loss or even a two-loss SEC team
The Big Ten is in a similar situation. Ohio State is the favorite to win the conference, but it still has a loss to Virginia Tech on its resume. As of the moment, Wisconsin is atop of the Big Ten east standings and the Buckeyes are atop of the Big Ten west. Hypothetically speaking, let say the Badgers meet up with Ohio State in the Big Ten title game and beat them. Regardless of whether or not that happens, Wisconsin has two losses in its back pocket - One to LSU, and one to Northwestern. Nebraska, the other contender in the Big Ten east, also has two losses. A two-loss Big Ten champion will not be invited to play in the college football playoff. Therefore, the only Big Ten team that has a chance of making it to the four team playoff is Ohio State. And that's only if they win out and others ahead of them lose.
It will be very interesting to see how everything unfolds over the next few weeks as teams fight for a playoff spot, and for the respect of their perspective conferences. But it’s easy to play the “what if” game and it makes for good conversation. In the end, however, only one team will be doing all of the talking.