I am in favor of an eight-team college football playoff, so about this time of year when the first poll is released I start to look at scenarios that will throw large monkey wrenches into what could happen to screw up the committee when time comes to make their selections.
Boy oh boy, this year has the potential to really mess things up.
When the first set of rankings came out this week five of the top six teams were undefeated. Georgia with one loss was rated No. 6. That loss came to 4-5 South Carolina.
In all we have seven unbeaten teams, two of which are No. 12 Baylor and the Rodney Dangerfield of them all, No. 17 Minnesota. Granted the Gophers really haven’t beaten anyone of significance, but PJ Fleck has “rowed the boat” to an 8-0 record.
Minnesota gets its chance to prove or disprove itself today as they host No. 4 Penn State in probably the biggest game of PJ’s career as the head man at Minnesota.
Beat the Nittany Lions and Minnesota all of a sudden becomes a real player not only in the Big 10, but at the national level as well.
Baylor is another 8-0 team and so far its biggest wins have been against Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. They get TCU on Saturday followed by back-to-back home games with Oklahoma (No. 9) and Texas. Another matchup with Oklahoma is likely in the Big 12 Championship game.
It’s probably a long shot that they will run the table, but if they did, all of a sudden you have a ton of one-loss teams chewing their fingernails and doing a lot of praying on selection Sunday.
Penn State and Ohio State face off on November 23 and if both are still unbeaten, one of them goes into the one-loss category. The same goes this weekend with LSU at Alabama.
Only the defending national champion Clemson Tigers would appear to have the less bumpy road to the final four. However it’s possible the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest could burst the Tigers’ bubble.
You also have one-loss teams in Utah, Oregon, Georgia, all in the top 10 of this week’s poll, who won’t go down without a fight.
What if you end up with this scenario?
Clemson runs the table and sits at 13-0 followed by either an undefeated LSU or Alabama also at 13-0.
Ohio State or Penn State runs the table, that would be three 13-0 teams and just for a laugh let’s throw Baylor into the mix at 13-0 after defeating OU in the Big 12 Championship game.
So that would give you your four-teams, right?
That would leave a one-loss Penn State, a one-loss Alabama or LSU and let’s say a one-loss Oregon out in the cold. Or would it? Is it possible that one of the undefeated teams gets left out to make room for an Alabama or LSU and maybe even a Penn State?
Would the committee be Ok with Clemson, Ohio State, Baylor and LSU?
I just don’t see any scenario for Minnesota in the discussion, but that is just my opinion. Maybe PJ will throw the biggest monkey wrench of them all into the mix.
I would like - no, I want - an eight-team playoff. I would like to see this year be one of those where the NCAA is forced to leave out some teams with one loss and really create a stir.
There is still a lot of football to be played before any decisions have to be made. It’s time to settle issues on the field, not in a committee room behind doors.
Area Football Teams
Cross County and Osceola/High Plains are in the quarterfinals and by this time we will also know if the McCool Junction Mustangs advanced in their Friday D6 playoff game with Eustis-Farnam.
I see the temperature today is supposed to be around 70 degrees and of course Tuesday night when the D1 play-offs resume it is supposed to be COLD!
Oh well, I think my entire closet of winter garments is currently in the backseat of my car so I have plenty of options to choose from.
Have a great weekend and if you have to be on the road, be safe in your travels.