After a crazy Saturday where we saw Michigan blowout their arch rival Ohio State, LSU lose to Texas A&M, and Clemson lose to South Carolina there are four teams that have a direct shot to the college football playoff if they can win their conference championship games. Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and USC all are a nose hair away from getting into the playoff if they win their championship games.
Georgia has been far and away the most dominant of college football teams this season. Having finished with the fifth strongest strength of schedule and winning each game by two scores or more there is no doubt that Georgia will be in the college football playoff regardless of what happens at the SEC Championship against LSU next week.
If we have learned anything about the Georgia Bulldogs this year it’s that nobody in the SEC can really stand up to them this year. Although we are denied the matchup against Alabama, Georgia looks to win their first SEC title game in over five years.
So for the sake of saving time I have Georgia in the college football playoff regardless if they win or lose to LSU, it is just a matter of where they will be seeded.
Michigan proved that they are here to stay in the conversation as one of the top tier programs in all of the country after their decisive 45-23 win at Ohio State yesterday. Michigan has had their share of doubters this year as their non conference schedule was not as strong as some other schools but that’s beside the point. Michigan took their ground and pound offense and sprinkled in some big passing plays to absolutely dismantle an Ohio State team who everyone had pegged to win that game
Michigan had the eighth strongest strength of schedule this year and similar to Georgian won every game in conference pretty easily, besides one. The Illinois game showed that Michigan is not as invincible as people may think and that if you catch them on the wrong day you can beat them.
Michigan should not lose to Purdue but if that situation does arise it would create a discussion where Michigan, Ohio State, and Alabama could be in play for the final spot. Michigan has the head to head over Ohio State and has a better overall record and conference record than Alabama but would have the worst loss out of the three teams as Purdue is unranked.
This scenario is far fetched and unlikely to happen but it would create a very interesting conversation between the fan bases as anything could happen then. I think Michigan blows the doors off of Purdue and comes into the college football playoff as the number two seed.
As well, Michigan fans wanted Jim Harbaugh out two years ago after going 2-4 in the covid year but has found success the past two seasons and he has his team in line for their second college football playoff appearance.
The Horned Frogs from Texas Christian University have been a sleeping giant this year until the past few weeks. Finishing with ninth strongest strength of schedule, TCU has found different ways to win in the BIG 12 this year. They’ve blown out teams, come from behind, needed their defense to make a play to give them a chance, and just flat out outscored teams when their defense had an off day. The one thing this TCU team can do consistently though is put up an insane amount of points.
TCU finished fourth in the country in points per game behind USC, Ohio State, and Tennessee. Although they finished ninth in average margin of victory TCU showed this year that they can finish games when the going gets tough. Last year TCU would be in games then seem to fall apart at the seams when they faced adversity, this year Head Coach Sonny Dykes had his team focused and engaged on every snap.
TCU will play next week in the BIG 12 championship game against Kansas State, who they defeated in October 38-28. Expecting the same result again TCU will be the number three seed in the college football playoff. If they do not win, which could be a possibility, they would then be in the discussion with Ohio State and Alabama for the final spot.
After finishing at the top of the PAC 12 at 8-1 the USC Trojans look to punch their ticket to the college football playoff with a win in their championship game against Utah next Friday. As the PAC 12 is known for being cannibals and beating each other up, it seems that USC had done enough if they can win the PAC 12 to punch their ticket to the college football playoff.
With what looks like to be the favorite for the Heisman trophy leading the way for them in quarterback Caleb Williams, the Trojans would have to thrip themselves up to not make the playoff. With Ohio State, Clemson, and LSU all losing yesterday it opened the door right up for USM to sneak into the college football playoff.
The only argument that could be made would be their strength of schedule. They had the thirty sixth ranked strength of schedule this year which is behind all of the remaining teams in the field but they would have something over all the other contending schools. A one loss power five conference champion. So the argument then ensues, would an Ohio State team who did not win their own division in the BIG 10 be more worthy to make the CFP over a conference champion. I think not but if USC loses then this entire argument could come up.
Lincoln Riley would become the first coach to bring two different schools to the college football playoff if USC gets in.