College Football Playoff: Just About Every Realistic Playoff Scenario

College Football Playoff: Just About Every Realistic Playoff Scenario

College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff: Just About Every Realistic Playoff Scenario

By


Going into Championship Week, what are all the scenarios and possibilities for the College Football Playoff top four? 


Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

We’re here.

It hasn’t been that long a journey compared to what other sports have to slog through, but it’s been a brutal run to cut the field of 130 teams – yeah, okay, but let’s just pretend that everyone has a shot – down to just seven teams with a realistic chance at getting in.

After three months, college football has bounced out Alabama.

It dumped Wisconsin, Michigan, and Penn State, blew off Notre Dame and Texas, teased and ditched Minnesota and Oregon, and it chewed up and spat out all the Group of Five programs who’ll never have a realistic shot without a massive miracle.

LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor. Those seven teams are the only ones left for those coveted four spots.

What are the realistic scenarios? How could this all shake out? Let’s go …

But first, we start with a given – LSU and Ohio State are in no matter what.

Even if the Tigers get blown away by Georgia in the SEC Championship, and even if the Buckeyes get blasted by the Badgers in the Big Ten Championship, their respective 12-game regular season bodies of work are so strong that the committee would automatically put them in.

And if Clemson loses …. ? Getting in isn’t a 100% given considering its schedule – even if it is one of the four-best teams talent-wise. So with all of that said, here are the realistic scenarios.

One more thing. This is assuming the committee will continue to like Utah more than the top Big 12 teams. This tries to account for that mindset flipping.

Everything goes chalk. LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, Utah, Oklahoma all win

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Clemson
4. Utah

In almost all scenarios going forward, no matter what happens with LSU, Clemson and Ohio State, if Utah loses …

1/2/3/4. Ohio State
1/2/3/4. LSU
1/2/3/4. Big 12 champ
1/2/3/4. Clemson or Georgia

There are a few exceptions to this when it comes to the Big 12 champ if Utah loses. The others come in a moment in the chaos scenarios, and …

Ohio State and Clemson win, Utah and LSU lose

1. Ohio State
2. Clemson
3. Georgia
4. LSU

Ohio State and LSU win, Utah and Clemson lose

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Big 12 champion
4. Clemson

LSU and Clemson win, Utah and Ohio State lose

1. LSU
2. Clemson
3. Ohio State
4. Big 12 champion

Everything goes chalk, but the Big 12 champion wins in a blowout and Utah squeaks by – or loses to – Oregon

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Clemson
4. Big 12 champion

Everything goes chalk, but Ohio State squeaks by Wisconsin and LSU blows out Georgia

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Utah

Everything goes chalk, but Ohio State and/or LSU squeak by and Clemson blows out Virginia

1. Ohio State
2. Clemson
3. LSU
4. Utah
*This scenario wouldn’t matter – LSU and Clemson would be 2/3 in some way.

Everything else goes chalk, but Georgia beats LSU (no matter what the final score)

1. Ohio State
2. Clemson
3. Georgia
4. LSU

Everything else goes chalk, but Wisconsin beats Ohio State

1. LSU
2. Clemson
3. Ohio State
4. Utah

Everything else goes chalk, but Wisconsin blows out Ohio State

1. LSU
2. Clemson
3. Utah
4. Ohio State

Everything else goes chalk, but LSU and Ohio State both lose

1. Clemson
2. Georgia
3. Ohio State
4. LSU

Everything else goes chalk, but LSU and Clemson both lose

1. Ohio State
2. Georgia
3. Utah
4. LSU

Everything else goes chalk, but Ohio State and Clemson both lose

1. LSU
2. Ohio State
3. Utah
4. Clemson

Everything else goes chalk, but Clemson loses to Virginia in a tight battle

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Utah
4. Clemson
*Okay, this sort of depends on how the other conference championships shake out. We’ll try that out in a moment.

Chaos Time, Part 1 – Ohio State, LSU, Clemson and Utah all lose

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. LSU
4. Big 12 Champion
*This is a coin-toss guess for the No. 4 spot.

In this scenario, to put in Clemson over a Big 12 champ would set a new precedent that a 12-1 Power Five conference champ would be left out for a team that didn’t win its conference title.

Clemson wouldn’t be a Power Five champion and – unlike Ohio State and LSU – it wouldn’t have a win over anyone in the final College Football Playoff Top 25. But the committee might do what it’s not supposed to and take last year into account, putting in the ultra-talented defending national champion in on a “four best team” argument.

The other part of this would be putting Georgia No. 1. 1) It would be a Power Five champ and Ohio State and LSU wouldn’t, and 2) the committee wouldn’t want a Georgia-LSU rematch in the semifinal.

Chaos time, Part 2 – Ohio State, LSU and Clemson all lose, and Utah and Big 12 champion each win in ugly blowouts

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. LSU
4. Utah
*This is the biggest nightmare scenario. Here’s the problem. The Big 12 champion’s win would be stronger than Utah’s win over Oregon. However, Oklahoma played way too many close games, and Baylor lost to the Sooners at home, while Utah would finish out its season on a dominant roll.

Georgia would have to be in, and Clemson – as good as it has been and is – wouldn’t be a Power Five champion and Utah would be. Utah would also have a far, far better win than anything Clemson would have done.

Chaos time, Part 3 – Ohio State and LSU lose, Clemson wins, and Utah and Big 12 champion each win in ugly blowouts

1. Clemson
2. Georgia
3. Ohio State
4. LSU
*You want howling? This would get the world going.

Utah and Big 12 champion fans would have a right to break something tasteful if their teams rocked in respective blowout 12-1 Power Five championship seasons and they’re left out for two teams that didn’t win their conference titles.

On the flip side, if the committee puts in the four 12-1 Power Five champs, it would be a fourth straight season without a Big Ten champion in the College Football Playoff. Good luck with that.

Ohio State and LSU win, Clemson loses, and Utah and Big 12 champ wins in ugly blowouts

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Utah
4. Big 12 champion
*Four 12-1 Power Five champions beat out the 12-1 Power Five team that didn’t win its championship

Ohio State and LSU win, Clemson loses, Utah loses

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Clemson
4. Big 12 champion

There are other possible scenarios depending on final scores and/or if a team loses its star quarterback, but again …

Remember, Ohio State and LSU are set, and Clemson is a massive favorite, so to cut to the chase, realistically …

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Clemson
Pecking order …
4. Utah if it wins convincingly
5. Big 12 winner if Utah loses
6. Big 12 winner if it wins by 24 or more and Utah wins in a tight battle

And finally …

What way too many people on social media believe the College Football Playoff committee REALLY wants this thing to be …

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3. Georgia
4. Florida

Okay, one more …

What Dabo Swinney is trying to sell the world that this is what the College Football Playoff committee REALLY wants this thing to be …

1. Anyone but Clemson
2. Anyone but Clemson
3. Anyone but Clemson
4. Anyone but Clemson

Latest

More Bowl Projections
Home