When the College Football Playoff was established it was made possible for two teams from a respective conference to make up the top four. The scenario has been avoided in years past, but this year it could be upon us due to the struggles of the Pac-12 and Big Ten. If there was ever a year that a disaster scenario shakeup how the committee uses their core criteria to decide who is in, this might be it. Here’s a couple things to consider in the last weeks of the college football season.
No. 1 Alabama loses to No. 6 Auburn in the Iron Bowl and makes the playoff as a one-loss four seed. Auburn loses the SEC Championship the following week in a rematch vs. No. 7 Georgia.
Here’s the complicated part of the Playoff coming true. If Alabama drops next week’s Iron Bowl vs. Auburn, the Crimson Tide would have a case for the the playoff without a conference championship. Although, there’s just as much controversy created by keeping a one-loss team that’s never missed a playoff out. Which leaves another interesting scenario for the SEC Championship.
Auburn, with two losses to Clemson and LSU, looked dead in the playoff race before the 40-17 thumping of then No. 1 Georgia last week. If the Tigers beat Georgia for a second time, will the committee mull over the possibility of having a two-loss team in the playoff? It’s very likely. Either way you look at it with an Alabama loss in the Iron Bowl, could two SEC teams slide in the final rankings?
No. 3 Clemson defeats No. 2 Miami in the ACC Championship in a close game.
Similar to the scenario with Alabama in the SEC, Miami could sneak into the playoff as a one-loss team. The question that remains is can the ACC and SEC run the Playoff table with two teams a piece? Yes, It’s possible, but the other three ‘Power 5’ conferences would be screaming mad for an expansion to the Playoff. Not to mention, two key things must happen for a two-conference sweep. No. 12 TCU gets revenge by beating No. 4 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship and No. 5 Wisconsin suffers a loss to No. 9 Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.
There’s a lot to still be determined. Here’s a schedule of key games with Playoff implications.
Saturday, Nov. 25 | No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Auburn (1:30 pm MT, TV: CBS)
Saturday, Dec. 2 | Big 12 Championship: No. 12 TCU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (10:30 am MT/ TV: FOX)
Saturday, Dec. 2 | SEC Championship: TBD (2 pm MT/ TV: CBS)
Saturday, Dec. 2 | ACC Championship No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Miami (6 pm MT/ TV: ABC)
Saturday, Dec. 2 | Big Ten Championship: No. 9 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (6 pm MT/ TV: FOX)