By Andrew White | Staff Writer
Rivalry week certainly did not disappoint. With a weekend full of games, highlighted by Ohio State and Michigan’s overtime thriller, the college football playoff madness became even crazier.
With the conference championships this weekend here is an outlook on what may transpire in the upcoming weeks.
Making the Case
Alabama – Win or lose, Alabama should have no problem getting into the four team playoffs. It is one of two undefeated teams remaining, and has been the most consistent team in the country. Additionally, the Tide has been ranked No. 1 all season long, and holds the most dominant defense in the NCAA. The defense is first in the nation in total defense and has not allowed a touchdown since October 23.
Ohio State – The one-loss Buckeyes are perhaps the most interesting team in the country. They have a balanced attack led by J.T. Barrett and a good defense. They also have quality wins against Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Clemson – Led by first-round prospect Deshaun Watson the Clemson Tigers are a one-loss team who dominated the ACC for most of the year. With a win, they will be in no problem.
Washington – The Huskies have one loss to a very good USC team. Take out the game against the Trojans, and they dominated the rest of their schedule, winning by no less than a touchdown in every single contest.
Michigan – Led by their defense which is highlighted by utility man Jabrill Peppers the Michigan Wolverines were a dominant force up until the last few injury plagued weeks.
Wisconsin – The Badgers won the Big 10 West and earned their spot into the championship game. Their only two losses came back-to-back against Michigan and Ohio State, both by only a touchdown. If they win, they are conference champs in a very strong Big 10.
Penn State – The Nittany Lions look like a totally different team after their close loss to Pitt and their blowout loss to Michigan. PSU has rattled off eight straight wins and are lead by RB Saquon Barkley, who some consider to be the best back in the game. If they win they, too, are conference champs in the Big 10.
Oklahoma – The Sooners lost two early games to Houston, who rose as high as No. 6 in the AP poll this season and Ohio State. They ran through the rest of the Big 12 and play Oklahoma State this weekend in their regular season finale.
Why They Should Be Out
Alabama – Just kidding, there is no chance they are kept out.
Ohio State – As previously mentioned, they are the most interesting team. The Buckeyes lone loss came to Penn State and it cost them a chance at a Big 10 Championship. It will be interesting to see if the CFP committee punishes them for not playing in a championship game even though they have one loss.
Clemson – Again, the Tigers are in with a win. With a loss to the 9-3 Hokies, however, they would need a lot to fall their way to get in.
Washington – The Huskies probably play in the weakest conference, and with a loss to Colorado, they would have no shot at making it due to a weak schedule and two losses.
Michigan – They have two losses and aren’t playing for a championship. Unless Jim Harbaugh can produce a miracle, we can say goodbye to the Wolverines.
Wisconsin – They have two losses. They would have to win, have to have Clemson or Washington lose, or have the committee punish Ohio State for not playing in a conference championship game to have shot at making it in.
Penn State – Same scenario as Wisconsin.
Oklahoma – They too have two losses. The thing that hurts them most is the lack of a conference championship game. They would have to win this weekend, have both Clemson and Washington lose, or have one lose and the committee punish the Buckeyes.
No. 1 Alabama 38 | No. 4 Washington 10.
No. 2 Clemson 28 | No. 3 Ohio State 31
Championship: No. 1 Alabama 24 | No. 3 Ohio State 17