This past week of college football has set up the scene for outrage and chaos. There are currently eight teams that are still alive for the playoff: Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Clemson, Wisconsin, and Georgia. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I actually almost entirely agree with what the Enlightened 13 has done on Tuesday. Maybe I would put USC a little lower than #10, but what they’ve done with the top ten rankings was nothing to sneeze at. Here, I break down every possible playoff scenario. This is why I love college football, because all we ever do is argue.
What about Miami? Enjoy South Beach
In order for Miami to get in the playoff, they need either Wisconsin or Oklahoma to lose in addition to them beating Clemson. It’s 100% certain that Alabama and the SEC champ will get in over Miami even if the Canes do end up winning the ACC. I know many Canes fans won’t be happy about this decision, but losing to Pitt late in the season is significantly worse than losing to Auburn on the road. You really think Nick Saban would have dropped a game like that? Of course not, it’s just not scientifically possible. If Wisconsin and Oklahoma both win, that’s 4 teams ahead of an ACC champ, Miami. Frankly, the chances of the U taking the ACC title are so minuscule it’s not even worth talking about, but hey, anything is possible in college football, right? I don’t like Miami’s chances of getting in. I actually agree with the decision to place Miami ahead of Ohio State because they’re more deserving, but Ohio State is a better team than Miami. This is the clear difference between most deserving and best. If I’m correct about this observation, it’ll all play out Saturday. I’ll start talking much more highly of Miami if they beat Clemson. Until then, I’m not flaunting around my turnover chain. Enjoy South Beach, Canes fans, because you probably won’t get into the playoffs.
How about Ohio State?
The only way Ohio State gets in is if they beat Wisconsin and Oklahoma loses. Alabama, the SEC champion, and the ACC champion will all be ranked ahead of Big Ten champion Ohio State. This is why the Big 12 championship game should be on after the Big Ten championship game. Once Oklahoma wins, Ohio State’s playoff hopes are dead, even if they beat Wisconsin. Don’t believe me Buckeye fans? Just ask the Enlightened 13, they’re the ones who set up this precedent by placing Miami ahead of you guys in the playoff rankings, as they should have. Let me get this out of the way, Ohio State fans in 2017 are the dumbest fan-base in sports. I couldn’t count the number of demented Buckeye fans on social media who actually think they’re automatically in if they beat Wisconsin. It’s the typical line, “hey man, they’re not leaving out a power-five conference champion.” This is the most clueless talking point in the history of college football talking points. In fact, if you keep using this line you should be banned from talking about college football, because you have no idea what you’re talking about. I want you all to hear me out on this, NOBODY GIVES A **** ABOUT CONFERENCE TITLES. Conference titles are about as important as the grades you earn in middle school; they mean nothing, especially when you’re comparing two teams from two different conferences who never play each other and don’t even have one common opponent. Hell, last year Penn State had a head to head win over Ohio State and they won the same conference Ohio State plays in.
We all know the conferences aren’t even, some are significantly stronger than others, and this year, the SEC is owning college football, not the Big Ten. Last year, the strongest division was the Big Ten East; this year it’s the SEC West. I promise you one thing, if Ohio State switched places with any of the big 3 in the SEC this year (Auburn, Alabama, and Georgia) any of these teams would be in the Big Ten Title game. The Enlightened 13 knows this and college football fans all know this. What really matters, is who you’ve beaten and who you’ve lost to. As far as who you’ve beaten, I’m not particularly impressed by Ohio State or Alabama. They both beat the same number of Power 5 teams with winning records. Alabama beat LSU, Mississippi State, Texas A&M. In addition, Florida State would be a New Years Six team had Deondre Francois not torn his patella tendon. Ohio State beat Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan as their best wins and if they beat Wisconsin, that’s a fourth. They were a top five team going into the season, so lets not discount that win.
In fairness to Ohio State, I would maybe give a slight edge to their “wins category” over Alabama’s, but not significantly. Similarly, I would give a slight edge to Alabama for their loss to Auburn on the road compared to Ohio State losing by a greater margin at home to Oklahoma. As far as Ohio State losing to Iowa by 31 points, that’s the nail in the coffin for me. These two teams with similar “who have you beaten” resumes but with Alabama having significantly (like, not even comparable) more forgivable losses than Ohio State rolling over and dying TWICE; there’s no way you can justify Alabama not getting in over Ohio State, and here’s the best part, the committee agrees. As the next great college football philosopher, I’ve always been the first to say that some losses are forgivable and others aren’t. Sort of like how some criminals deserve 40 years in prison and others deserve community service. Alabama deserves community service while Ohio State deserves more severe consequences. Ohio State losing to Oklahoma at home? Looks bad because they were at home, but forgivable. Alabama losing by two possessions to Auburn on the road? Bad, but forgivable, and more forgivable than Ohio State getting smacked around at home by Oklahoma. But Ohio State losing to 7-5 Iowa by four possessions? Uh, no, get lost Buckeye apologists. Call me when Alabama takes a loss like that. Put simply, the Ohio State fan-base in the dumbest fan-base in sports this year.
What about TCU and Oklahoma?
Sorry TCU, I did all the calculations in my head and traveled around the maze of scenarios. The truth is, even if you beat Oklahoma, you’re still behind the ACC champ, SEC champ, Big Ten champ, and Alabama. What’s actually funny about the Big 12 title game this year is that all it can do is spoil a playoff chance for the Big 12, but hey, all the other schools play conference championships, it’s only fair the Big 12 does the same. Oklahoma’s offense is out of this world; there’s a solid 95% chance the Sooners won this game.
Will the Tide Roll?
What’s amazing is that Alabama doesn’t control their own destiny, as they shouldn’t. Yes, they should get in over Big Ten champ Ohio State and ACC champ Miami, but they don’t deserve to get in over 13-0 Wisconsin, 12-1 Oklahoma, 12-1 Clemson or the SEC champ, and the committee set that precedent Tuesday night. However, Alabama doesn’t need much to get the 4 spot, all they need is for either Clemson, Wisconsin, or Oklahoma to lose and they’re 1000% in. Otherwise, the only Tide that will be rolling in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is the laundry detergent.
Georgia and Auburn?
Easy, whoever wins this game gets in the playoff, whoever loses is left out. For the record, I think Auburn will win this because they’re an offensive juggernaut and I think they can beat any team in the country at a neutral site. On the other hand, I’ve cooled off on Georgia lately.
What about the Pac 12 and Clay Aiken (Helton)?
No, the Pac 12 is as dead as Aunt Edna and they have been ever since Washington lost to Stanford. For the record, I never bought into the Washington hype, even when they were undefeated. I don’t care if USC wins the Pac-12, it means nothing. Any team in the top 10 would win the pac-12. The Pac 12 has easily been the weakest Power 5 conference this year. Why else do you think the Pac 12 championship is shown on Friday night? Because it’s the least relevant Power 5 conference championship by a long shot. As critical as I’ve been of Ohio State and Alabama’s resumes, USC’s resume is even weaker. USC has been the most overhyped team before the season started and the fell flat on their faces. That’s why I call Clay Helton Clay Aiken. They’re 1-2 against teams in the top 25 and many of their wins were disappointingly ugly. Like when they beat Utah by one point at home, when it took them OT to beat a 6-6 Texas team and when they beat UCLA by one possession at home. UCLA is probably the worst road team in all of major college football; they couldn’t even beat Memphis. In fact, UCLA hasn’t won once on the road. Please, USC would get their ears blown off if they competed in the playoff. It would look like a country without a military budget fighting in a world war.
How about Wisconsin?
They definitely won’t be left out if they win the Big Ten and they’re definitely out if they lose to Ohio State. Wisconsin is still looking to gain respect because their schedule has been weak. SEC fans love to harp on this narrative (a big hypocritical considering you play Mercer every year). I’m still not totally convinced of Wisconsin’s excellence, but they have the opportunity to prove me wrong Saturday. Also, Wisconsin being 6.5 underdogs against Ohio State is gambling banana land. This game definitely goes down to the wire in the 4th quarter.
The Notre Dame Bubble: The Third Party Presidential Candidate of College Football
What amazes me the most is how Notre Dame, which isn’t even a top 10 team, still has the greatest effect on the playoff of any team not in the top 8. The answer is that it’s the Notre Dame bubble and it’s turning college football upside down. In September and October, Notre Dame was rolling and the talk of college football. Come November, the Notre Dame bubble burst and it is flipping the narrative of college football on its head. For all you political wonks reading this, Notre Dame is like a third party presidential candidate: can’t win it all but somehow manages to turn the tables in the election. Hell, they’re not even in the top 10, but they turned college football on it’s head.
Think about it, Notre Dame flipped the script from “Georgia and Miami are so good because they beat Notre Dame” to “Notre Dame sucks because they lost to Georgia at home and got blown out by Miami.” Now, they’re ranked #15 despite ranked #3 about a month ago, talk about a huge drop-off. I actually dug through the bible earlier today to see if there are any passages in the bible that say you can’t win football games in November and December because this would explain why Notre Dame goes from the “Fighting Irish” to the “Infected by the Bubonic Plague Irish” once November hits. If I were a Notre Dame fan, I would advocate for college football season ending on Halloween, then maybe the Fighting Irish can win something and avoid the Bubonic Plague.
I feel no sympathy at all for Alabama
As a fan of college football, it would suck to see Alabama miss out on the playoff considering their only loss is to Auburn on the road. Furthermore, Alabama is favored against every team at a neutral site, and I always trust Vegas. Go where the money is, it won’t steer you wrong. This being said, I don’t have an an ounce of sympathy for Alabama considering they’ve been manipulating their schedule every year. Scheduling Mercer a week before the Iron Bowl?! That’s laughable and frankly, embarrassing. These SEC and ACC schools need to start playing nine games in conference; it’s a joke that they get on the phone and dial up one more extra win than schools in the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac 12. In addition, stop scheduling nursing schools and culinary schools in November. November is supposed to be the most competitive month in college football and you’re essentially scheduling a practice. PATHETIC!
The SEC is the best conference in college football; I’m partying with the Southerners this season
I’ve been critical of the SEC in the past, but this year, I have nothing to say. The SEC has conquered college football once again. Three of the 8 playoff contenders are SEC teams, and the only conference that can still get two teams in the playoff is the SEC. For the past few years, there was debate about the Big Ten surpassing the SEC, and last year, I was team Big Ten over SEC. However, this year, that ship has sailed, there is no debate between the SEC and Big Ten. Don’t believe me, just ask Vegas, they agree with me. When Vegas pairs every SEC team with every Big Ten team based on each team’s respective ranking in their conference, the SEC is favored 10 out of 14 times.