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Monday, November 6, 2017

CFP: Trying To Make Sense Of It All

It's incredibly early still to try and predict who, or what team actually, will make the College Football Playoff(CFP). 

After 9/10 weeks the picture is more clear of who won't be in, than who will be. We will try to offer some clarity on the subject. Ready? Let's give it the old college try.

Artwork courtesy of @AURobUSA

First we will start with the Big 12. 

Teams from the Big 12 that won't be in the CFP: Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State. 

Team(s) still with a chance to make CFP: Oklahoma, TCU

Oklahoma and TCU will play next Saturday at 8pm ET at Oklahoma. This may very well be a precursor to the rematch in the Big 12 Championship game. 

The PAC 12 presents a challenge in that there are two teams with just 2 losses, and one team with just one loss. 

Teams from the PAC 12 that will not make the CFP: Colorado, UCLA, Utah, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State, California, Oregon, and Stanford. 

Outside chance: Washington State, and Southern Cal.  

The Washington Huskies, in our opinion are the only team left in the PAC 12 with a real shot at the CFP, if they win out. They started 12th in the first CFP poll of 2017. 

The B1G or, Big 10. Whatever. This conference is very competitive amongst themselves. Other than one unbeaten team, there are four teams with two losses.

Teams from B1G that won't make the CFP: Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern, & Iowa. 

Outside chance:  Ohio State

Best chance: Wisconsin Badgers. 

An undefeated Wisconsin is in. Period. Ohio State may have shot themselves in the foot this past weekend getting drummed by Iowa. The Hawkeyes can spoil the Badgers chances by taking them down this coming weekend. That game is at 3:30 pm ET.

The ACC is the defending National Champion conference, with Clemson the current Champion. While Clemson is currently ranked higher, it's the Miami Hurricanes that sit undefeated.  The winner of the ACC should advance to the CFP, unless a hapless Florida State knocks off Clemson this coming weekend. The Tigers will play the Hurricanes for the ACC Championship.  

Teams not in the CFP: North Carolina, Duke, Pitt, Ga. Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Wake Forest, FSU Boston College, and NC State.

Teams still in: Clemson and Miami

The SEC is heavy two teams with a potential contender still in the hunt for a playoff spot. 

SEC teams not in: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Miss State, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A and M, Florida, South Carolina, and Missouri. 

Outside chance: Auburn

Best chance: Georgia, Alabama

Some of the football pundits are claiming that Auburn controls its own destiny. "Win out and they are in." I don't see it being that simple. The Tigers could be in, but will need some help outside of the conference. 

We must factor in a Notre Dame team that has only one loss. The loss was to Georgia in the opening game, by a single point. The Fighting Irish play Miami this coming weekend at 8pm ET

Another outlier team? University of Central Florida. The Knights are 8-0 and ranked #18 in the first release of the CFP poll in 2017. One factor working against them would be the quality of their opponents. Still, an undefeated team at the end of their schedule is hard to ignore.

Georgia and Alabama are heralded as the two best teams in college football at the moment. If that is true, then they should both easily handle a 2 loss Auburn. The Tigers have arguably played one of the toughest schedules in all of college football. Clemson, LSU, UGA, and Bama. Potentially setting up a rematch with UGA in the SEC Championship. Should Auburn win the SEC, they could easily play Clemson again. Win all of those, well, hard to argue they didn't belong.

Artwork courtesy of @AURobUSA

So, the question remains. Who's in? In no particular order, the teams with a chance at the CFP: Notre Dame, Miami, UCF, Clemson, Oklahoma, TCU, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Washington State, Washington, and USC.

14 in all. It's gonna be a fun ride to the 'ship this season. Hold on.


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