The top seven teams on the college football playoff selection committee have stayed the same in their third season standings, but there's still Something discuss.
(Minnesota fans would like to know why Penn State ranks ahead of the Golden Gophers despite a face-to-face victory and the same 9-1 record.) Good question.)
This is not the only discussion, however, that still revolves around the 13-member committee as the season shrinks to just three more weeks. There is still plenty of time for the playoff image to change – perhaps even drastically – between the games on Saturday 13 and the December 8th selection day.
Until then, six possible outcomes – odd-looking scenarios – are creating the biggest debates, and although the selection committee does not even have the answers yet, here are some preliminary predictions as to how they could unfold:
1. Would the committee choose 11-1 Alabama or an Oregon to a defeat to win the Pac-12?
Early prediction: Oregon.
Here's why: There is a written protocol to follow, and Oregon would probably win the tiebreakers, which includes the strength of the schedule and the conference league games.
Although Alabama finished among the top four without winning its division before, it was also an anomaly, as 17 of the last 20 semifinalists were champions of the conference. The committee should admit that Alabama is "unequivocally" one of the top four teams in the country with a quarterback. Mac Jones. It will be hard to prove against Western Carolina or against three Auburn teams. However, it is important that Auburn be a common opponent with Oregon – a tiebreak that the Ducks would lose because they lost the first game of the season against the Tigers. That's probably not enough to offset the Oregon conference title in the end, though, or a win against a Utah top 10 in the Pac-12 championship game.
For the moment, it is the losses that separate the two in the eyes of the committee.
"The committee has spent a lot of time talking about Alabama and Oregon," said Tuesday committee chair Rob Mullens. "Members explained how much Alabama had been dominating the entire season, they also said that Oregon was explosive and that they were impressed by the quarterback of the day. Oregon The only defeat of Oregon was recorded at number 15 Auburn on a neutral site, while that of Alabama was ranked first.
Alabama defeated only one Power 5 opponent with a winning record (7-3 Texas A & M) at this point, and Auburn would make two. Alabama lost to the only other ranked opponent he faces – LSU. The strength of the Oregon calendar was a little helped this week because USC was ranked No. 23. The Ducks beat the Trojans on the road, and they would also have a top-10 victory against Utah at the match-title against the conference.
All this assumes that LSU leads the table and beats Georgia to win the SEC title, opening fourth place. (LSU would win the West this week with a win over Arkansas 2-8.)
2. Would Minnesota become a Big Ten champion at a loss, or would brand bias be a factor?
Early prediction: Gophers would be in.
Here's why: The three Minnesota standings – against Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State – would probably be better than those of the other candidates.
A wooden coat rack located in front of the Selection Central door contains a collection of white Nike golf hats awarded to each committee member, with his name in black letters. It's a tradition supposed to remind everyone to "check their hat at the door". Committee members are not allowed to wear clothing or logos provided by the school during meetings and the so-called "brand name" does not matter, but it is impossible to know what everyone is thinking. Conspiracy theories will always float among fans, and there will always be doubts about a process that takes place entirely behind closed doors.
What Minnesota would have done, however, is quite visible – and would be impossible to ignore.
3. Is Utah as lucky as Oregon to enter if it wins the Pac-12?
Early prediction: No, but that does not mean that it will not fit, it just can not be as well argued.
Here's why: The loss for USC, coupled with a no-conference schedule including BYU (6-4), Northern Illinois (4-7) and Idaho State (3-8), will create a weaker argument for the Pac-12.
"I think the USC probably sparked the most discussions when they analyzed both," said PCP Executive Director Bill Hancock on Tuesday. "Oregon has obviously easily beaten USC and Utah lost." And his resume, including the loss against a good team from Auburn in the closing seconds of the match, and Utah "It's really nothing like that – it's the difference."
Utah would certainly be considered a champion at a loss, the Pac-12, and would still be in a better position than the Big 12 champion, based on the top three rankings of the selection committee. The opportunity to punctuate his resume with a win against a top-10 Oregon team would give even more weight to his cause, but it would also depend on the team with which it was compared. Alabama's loss to LSU would not be as damaging as Utah's defeat at USC, but Crimson Tide would not have a win in the top 10 or a conference title either . It would also be difficult for Utah to overthrow the Ohio State if the Buckeyes finish with a defeat.
After a difficult start in the first half, Jalen Hurts led the Sooners' 25-point return with four touchdowns to give Baylor his first loss.
4. Is the Big 12 really finished?
Early prediction: Yes.
Here's why: If beating Baylor undefeated on the road was not enough to give N ° 9 Sooners a boost in the regular season, why would such a loss to a loss, Baylor number 14, have much more valuable?
On the other hand, if Baylor beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship, it probably would not be enough for the Bears to jump 10 places in the top four. Due to Baylor's inability to rank in the top 10, it's clear that the Bears' schedule, which included wins against Rice, Stephen F. Austin and UTSA, is part of what holds them back.
"We're just watching every game, and when you look at Baylor's three non-conference opponents, they have a total of seven wins," said Mullens.
Oklahoma remains the Big 12's best hope in the semifinals, but it will take a bit of chaos to compete for a conference title.
5. If Ohio State loses Saturday, would it still rank among the top four?
Early prediction: Yes.
Here's why: Ohio State is as good as that, and the committee held Penn State enough in the middle of the season that it would not be a loss if the Buckeyes stood in front of the Nittany Lions. Oregon's loss to Auburn would also be a better loss if the Tigers finished with four defeats.
"Ohio State is strong on both sides of the ball," Mullens said Tuesday. "They made a statement all year."
The difference between Alabama and the state of Ohio as one-time teams that have not won their division begins with the fact that the state of Ohio has been ranked higher all season. Barring an extraordinary and unexpected performance of Alabama as substitute quarterback Mac Jones, in the next two games, the Buckeyes would also have the advantage at quarterback. Justin Fields and their defense has always been dominant. Ohio State beats their opponents with an average of 41 points per game, while the defense leads the country to keep his opponents at 9.8 points per game.
"We are certainly not starting a margin of victory," said Mullens, "but we understand that these are all compelling victories for Ohio State."
6. If Texas A & M bother Georgia on Saturday, but the Dawgs win the SEC, are they in the top four?
Early prediction: An unconvincing yes.
Here's why: Georgia would have two defeats against unclassified teams in South Carolina and Texas A & M, but would win impressive victories in this scenario against Notre Dame, Florida, Auburn and LSU. What matters most to the committee is difficult to decipher because the group focused on good wins but also justified some of its rankings by considering that some losses were worse than others.
What we do know is that the committee has so far rewarded Georgia for its good wins, more than it has penalized the Bulldogs for losing at home against a terrible team Gamecocks. If the group is consistent in this app, there is no reason to think that a victory over LSU and a SEC title could make up for another bad defeat. This would be the first time that a team consisting of two defeats would rank among the top four.
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