The Path to the College Football Playoff: And there’s the massive break. It couldn’t have gone any better for the Hawkeyes, with a blowout win over Indiana and with Wisconsin losing. Run the table, beat Penn State at Penn State, hope the Badgers lose in Happy Valley, and get to the Big Ten Championship at 11-1. Do that, and win the B1G, and it’s off to the CFP.
What Will Happen: Go ahead and dream big, Iowa fans. Your Hawkeyes aren’t losing to Maryland, Northwestern, Illinois or Nebraska, but they won’t beat both Purdue and Penn State on the road.
The Path to the College Football Playoff: Win out, get in the College Football Playoff. A 12-1 Big Ten champion Michigan is in no matter what else happens. Lose once, and that’s it. There’s no in between at this point.
What Will Happen: The Wolverines will get to a New Year’s Six bowl – possibly the Rose Bowl – but with games at Michigan State, Penn State, and at Ohio State, they’re not getting through the rest of the slate unscathed.
Ohio State (5-0)
The Path to the College Football Playoff: Win out, get no worse than the No. 2 seed. Even if the Buckeyes drop a game along the way – be really, really, really, really careful of that trip to Purdue in a few weeks – they’ll still get in if they go 12-1 with a Big Ten championship.
What Will Happen: They’ll get dropped once. They’re too inconsistent and will get tagged by someone weird – again, Purdue, look out – or at Michigan State or to even (gulp) Michigan. But they’ll go 12-1, win the B1G, and get in.