After Tuesday’s College Football Playoff Rankings, there wasn’t much movement among the top eight teams but within the next few weeks, anything could change. As the season approaches the final stretch, the stakes will be raised and it’s a fight for the top four spots.
What the Top Eight Teams CFP Rankings Signify
Who’s Stopping Georgia?
Is this the Georgia Bulldogs or the 91′, 92′ and 93′ Chicago Bulls? They’re looking for a three-peat and are on the right track. The Bulldogs took the top spot after this week’s rankings and they’ve already secured a spot in the SEC Championship. A win on Saturday will make it a third consecutive win against a Top 25 opponent and will show more reasons why they’ll be the toughest team to beat.
It’s simple for UGA all they have to do is win and they’re in. A matchup against Alabama won’t be easy but this team is built for the big games. Kirby Smart has built a powerhouse in Athens and there doesn’t seem to be any digression any time soon.
It Comes Down to “The Game”
Saturday, November 25th is must-watch TV. Ohio State will take the 183-mile trip up North for a matchup against Michigan. Unless there’s a shakeup this weekend, they will meet ranked second and third for the second straight year, and similar to last year, it’s winner takes all. Whoever comes out victorious will most likely win the Big Ten and secure a playoff berth, but what about the other?
Hypothetically, if Michigan wins this game at home and wins the Big Ten, does Ohio State (with one loss) receive the 2017 Alabama treatment? Bama didn’t compete for the SEC title but still earned a playoff berth. However, is Ohio State’s resume strong enough? They’ve defeated two teams in the Top 25 but haven’t looked as dominant for the majority of the season.
The same goes for the Wolverines, if they lose they’ll have beaten one Top 25 team but they’ve looked consistently dominant each week. If they end up falling at home how does the committee approach their decision? Win or loss they have shown they’re clearly one of the best teams regardless of the outcome against Ohio State.
Win and You’re in
The Florida State Seminoles have held down the No. 4 spot for the previous weeks and their destiny is in their hands or maybe not. Obviously, they have to remain perfect and it’ll boost their chances but considering their schedule, it doesn’t play in their favor. Clemson and Duke falling out of the Top 25 hurts so, they only have one Top 25 win. Their resume may not be the most appealing but they did beat the No. 15 ranked team by three touchdowns.
They get to impress the committee a few more times before the final rankings. In two weeks there will be a potential trap game in the Swamp. Although the Florida Gators is a middle-of-the-pack team, that’s not an easy task. Then there’s the ACC Championship, most likely they’ll face 10th-ranked Louisville and a win should secure their spot. The Noles have no room for slippage, especially being on the border of the rankings.
Highway Robbery in Seattle
The Washington Huskies are more than deserving to be in the top four, maybe as high as number two. They have one of the most electrifying offenses and arguably the nation’s top quarterbacks. Although they didn’t look as hot against Arizona State and Stanford needed late-game heroics they found a way to win. They’ve also won the games they needed the most. They have three wins against Top 25 opponents and an impressive road win against USC.
This has to be the year a Pac-12 team makes it right? A victory against 11th-ranked Oregon State on the road should help beef up their resume and impress the committee. More than likely, they may see a rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship. Where they land in the final rankings is out of their control but November 25th is a huge weekend for Washington. If the Huskies handle their business and are sitting at 13-0 there is no reason they should be left out.
Oregon, Texas, and Alabama all sit at one loss and need a lot of help to earn a berth. It’s hard to say who’s the best out of these three but they all make a strong case for who’s the best. Oregon lost a close one on the road to Washington, Texas’ one loss came in the Red River Rivalry against a very good Oklahoma team. Lastly, Bama has done a complete 180 since their week two loss against Texas.
Each of these teams will need to walk similar paths in the upcoming weeks. They need to finish the regular season perfect, win their conference championships, and hope others in front of them fall down the ladder. It’s a long shot for Texas and Bama, but the Ducks may get lucky if the possibilities go in their favor.
The Ultimate Chaos
Championship week will have plenty of implications leading up to the final rankings. If sports is scripted the writers can set up a grand finale filled with chaos. Imagine if Alabama beats Georgia, Oregon avenges their loss, and beats Washington then Texas is a one-loss Big 12 Champion. There will be seven one-loss teams that make a strong case for why they deserve a CFP bid.
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