How the CFB 12-team Playoff Would Look: Week 8
Now that Tennessee won their convincing last second rivalry matchup with Alabama, everyone is clamoring for the expanded playoff. While I cannot snap my fingers and make that happen early, I can explore who would be in the 12-team playoff and what would likely happen from then on out.
Let’s start with the rankings, which are primarily based on the AP poll right now.
1. Georgia (AQ)
Against my better judgment, the number one team is neither Alabama nor the team that beat Alabama. They beat them last year though, so there’s that.
2. Ohio State (AQ)
Ohio State is still basically the Alabama of the Big Ten. However, the Big Ten, since they are not the SEC, is not allowed to have a team above Alabama.
3. Clemson (AQ)
Clemson is quietly good this year. You wouldn’t think that they’d be the number three seed, since they are ranked below Tennessee and Michigan, but they are a presumed conference champion, while the other two are not.
4. TCU (AQ)
TCU fans are just waiting for a way that Ohio State sneaks ahead of them in the final week. Wait, Ohio State is already above them? Long live the Big XII!
5. Tennessee (at-large)
Because Tennessee did not get the nod over Georgia, they are not eligible to be granted the first-round bye. As the number three team, however, they get the highest non-bye seed.
6. Michigan (at-large)
Michigan, as the second highest ranked at-large team, gets the six seed. This is despite no adjacency to Alabama, Georgia or any SEC team.
7. Alabama (at-large)
What an underdog story there is here with Alabama at number seven. This is exactly why we all want this expanded playoff!
8. Ole Miss (at-large)
Because there really aren’t enough SEC teams in here yet. Will they drop out of the top 12 with their quality loss to Alabama? No, no they will not.
9. UCLA (AQ)
Who would have thought UCLA would be good this year? I am really glad that I didn’t do one of those playoffpredictors.com things for the PAC12 because I’m certain I would have been horribly wrong with them.
10. Oregon (at-large)
Oregon, with only a single 46-point loss this season, sneaks in as an at-large team.
11. Oklahoma State (at-large)
Oklahoma State is severely punished for their loss to TCU by dropping from losing as a 7 seed to now losing as an 11 seed. The playoff system works!
12. Cincinnati (AQ)
Cincinnati, despite a loss to Arkansas, is the sixth highest ranked conference winner. While they have one fewer game played against their conference than Tulane, Cincinnati played and lost to an SEC school. Tulane lost to Southern Miss.
Round One: The Wild Card Round
#8 Ole Miss vs. #9 UCLA
In a game that has never happened, Ole Miss squeaks one out to earn the right to be the first playoff sacrifice to Georgia.
#5 Tennessee vs #12 Cincinnati
In a third attempt at an SEC school in the last 12 months, the result remains the same for the third attempt. Cincinnati gets embarrassed by a far superior Tennessee team.
#7 Alabama vs. #10 Oregon
The first step to an up-start program like Alabama winning the national title is to beat the only lower seeded team they face. Somehow, I think they’ve got this.
#6 Michigan vs. #11 Oklahoma State
Michigan breaks the non-Ohio State Big Ten CFP curse of not winning a playoff game…by winning a playoff game.
Round Two: The “Elite” 8
#1 Georgia vs. #8 Ole Miss
In a conference game that hadn’t happened this year, Georgia crushes Ole Miss.
#4 TCU vs. #5 Tennessee
The bye doesn’t do anything as Tennessee legitimizes OU and Texas’ decision to move away from the Big XII. This sets up an SEC East de facto Championship rematch.
#2 Ohio State vs. #7 Alabama
UPSET ALERT! Back-six seeded Alabama defeats ‘Goliath’ Ohio State.
#3 Clemson vs. #6 Michigan
In the first game ever between these two schools, Clemson shows Michigan to the woodshed in a game that was over before the end of the first quarter. That’s the Michigan CFP team we know and love!
Round 3: The Semi-Finals
#1 Georgia vs. #5 Tennessee
In a game that hadn’t happened since November 5 of this year, Georgia ends Tennessee’s dream season.
#7 Alabama vs. #3 Clemson
In a game that’s watchable for a half, Alabama pulls away and proves that offenses still win championships…I mean semi-final games.
Round 4: National Championship Game
#7 Alabama vs. #1 Georgia
Alabama justifies everyone advocating expansion in the College Football Playoff by winning the national title as a 7 seed. This is what we all wanted!