Let’s start off by making some of this easy. Three spots will be filled by the winner of the SEC Championship, The ACC Championship and if Oklahoma beats TCU the Big 12 championship game. Of course, there will be an upset and throw this all into chaos, so if that happens, what team deserves to make the playoffs the most? Let’s take a look.
Clemson Tigers – The Clemson Tigers should be in even if they lose to Miami because nobody has a better resume. Strength of schedule for Clemson is at number 9. The past weekend made their case even stronger as the Tigers claimed their fifth victory over a ranked opponent and seventh over a bowl eligible team in beating No. 24 South Carolina. Throw in the fact that they were last season’s National Champions, defeated Auburn and it will be clear just how good this team is.
The lone blemish was bad as they traveled to a mediocre Syracuse team and lost a close game. Bear in mind that starting Quarterback Kelly Bryant was injured.
Georgia Bulldogs – This is pretty simple if the Bulldogs beat Auburn they are in and that’s the only way. A loss eliminates them simply because the marquee win to this point was Notre Dame and that one-point win doesn’t look as good today as it did a month ago. Still if Georgia wins they deserve to be in.
Oklahoma Sooners – The Sooners have a strong resume also as they had three wins vs. teams ranked 11th or higher when it faced them and also has six eins vs. bowl-bound teams. The Sooners have two marquee wins over Ohio State and TCU, plus they have the likely Heisman Trophy winner in Quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Even if they lose to TCU and Ohio State beats Wisconsin, the Sooners still should be in over the Buckeyes.
Alabama Crimson Tide – It’s very hard to make a case for the Tide as their strength of schedule has been week and playing Mercer in the second to the last game of the regular season doesn’t help. The Tide’s best wins are against LSU and Mississippi State, the latter took a last minute score to win. For all intents and purposes, the Tide should not even enter into this conversation, but money, and prestige make me bring them up, as the committee will put them in if anyone slips up.
Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers are undefeated and will probably get in with a win over two-loss Ohio State. Should they? Probably not. The strength of schedule is a joke at #77 and so far the best wins they have are over mediocre teams in Northwestern, Michigan and Iowa. I have actually seen Badgers fans argue that their win over a 9-3 Florida Atlantic was a quality win? Really? Florida Atlantic lost to Buffalo.
Badger fans always whine about getting disrespected and the reason is this. They play nobody out of conference! The last time they ventured out and played Alabama they promptly got smacked right in the mouth. The Big Ten is down compared to last year and that’s not the Badgers fault, but with that being said, they have no high quality wins. Even with a win over Ohio State, the resume falls way short of Oklahoma, Auburn, Georgia, Clemson, and TCU.
Miami(Fla) Hurricanes – The Canes are a team nobody is really sure about, they looked like the Canes of the late 80’s against Notre Dame. Too bad the Irish turned out to be not that good. A win over Clemson will put them deservedly, while a loss ends their season. No matter what happen, Coach Mark Richt has the Canes headed in the right direction.
Ohio State Buckeyes – No matter what happens Saturday the Buckeyes do not deserve a playoff spot. Last year, Penn State was ignored because they had been blown out early in the season at Michigan. This year the Buckeyes were manhandled at home by Oklahoma and then were torched by 7-5 Iowa. The Iowa game should knock them out of contention no matter what happens Saturday.
Auburn Tigers – Not much to discuss here a win and they are in and a loss and they are out as it would be their third loss.
TCU Horned Frogs – The Frogs with a win can make a case if some others lose. They have stronger wins than Alabama and Ohio State as they would have a win over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, but no way would the selection committee even look at them because of the money involved in the playoffs.
Central Florida Golden Knights – They will be undefeated with a second win over the Memphis Tigers they also beat a very good South Florida team. It would take Armageddon for the committee to allow them in the playoffs but they have a resume that’s up there with Wisconsin. It is a shame that a team like Central Florida will have no shot to prove themselves in a playoff and that is why the playoffs should be expanded to 8 or 16 teams. They have had a great season and with a win over Memphis, they deserve the opportunity to at least compete against the top teams in the country.
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