LSU beat Florida 37-34 in one of the biggest shockers of the season. What does it all mean for the College Football Playoff? Who’s the big winner?
LSU hit its kick, Florida didn’t, and it turned into a shocking 37-34 Tiger win to throw the College Football Playoff situation into a tailspin.
What Does It All Mean For Florida?
Florida is out of the College Football Playoff.
There might be a way the Gators could slide on into the CFP if they annihilate Alabama in the SEC Championship, and if Notre Dame blows out Clemson in the ACC Championship and/or Northwestern shocks Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.
No, Cincinnati isn’t getting in, and no, a two-loss Big 12 champion wouldn’t get in over a two-loss Florida that beats the one of ones in Alabama.
The Gators blew it. All they had to do was win against a mediocre-to-bad LSU, and then the CFP was there for the taking against Bama. That’s all but gone.
The big winner is …
Florida’s loss all but locks Notre Dame into the College Football Playoff no matter what – check that; barring some 41-3ish wipeout loss by the Irish – and it allows for Clemson to possibly sneak in at the 4 seed if it loses to the Irish in a repeat of the earlier season classic.
Notre Dame’s big fear was a loss to Clemson, an Ohio State win, and a Florida upset over Alabama. If that happened, the Irish would’ve almost certainly have been out. That’s all but off the table now.
The other big winner is …
The Aggies need to clear up the traffic ahead of them, and that included Florida – even though the Gators, because they controlled their own destiny, were a spot lower in the College Football Playoff rankings.
They still have that win over Florida, so now they need 1) Florida to beat Alabama in a close game – making that win over the Gators to be that much stronger, and/or 2) Notre Dame to obliterate Clemson – knocking out a two-loss Tiger team – and/or 3) a Northwestern win over Ohio State.
It’s not an easy path, but the Florida loss takes away the likelihood of it being Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and Ohio State or Notre Dame if the Gators beat Bama.
Besides the ACC and Texas A&M, the other big winner is …
No, it’s not going to happen, but with the big comeback win over UCLA, the Trojans are still somewhat alive in the College Football Playoff hunt.
It would take a whole lot of minor miracles, and a philosophical debate in the CFP committee room, but there still might be some love and respect thrown USC’s way if Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State win to make it possible for four unbeaten Power Five champs to be in.
Florida losing makes it easy to move USC up from 15 to around 9ish – at least there will be some movement.
Besides Florida, the big loser is …
The conference had a chance of getting two teams into the College Football Playoff, but now it’ll likely be just one.
More than that, though, the SEC Championship becomes a bit of an exhibition. Alabama is in the College Football Playoff as long as it doesn’t get destroyed, and Florida winning probably doesn’t matter.
What does it all mean for the College Football Playoff?
Actually … nothing.
The original projection was that Florida was going to lose to Alabama and go to the Orange Bowl. The bigger change is that it’s going to be against North Carolina and not Miami playing in Hard Rock Stadium.
If the Gators don’t go to the Orange, they’re still going to end up in a New Year’s Six game, and so will Georgia and Texas A&M. All three were originally likely to be in the NY6 anyway.
So after all of that, the original call still stands. Assume it’s Alabama vs. Notre Dame in the Sugar, and Ohio State and Clemson in the Rose.