The annual College Football Playoffs are prestigious, not only for the teams playing in them but their conferences too. This week I was watching some football and tried to predict some early projections of my college football playoff bracket. While I know it is far too early I could not help but look at the rankings of the AP poll. Currently, two ACC teams sit in the top 4 and two SEC teams sit in the top 5. If we expand into the top 10 we can see four SEC teams, two Big 10 teams, and the same two ACC teams. There is plenty of football still to be played, but I quickly ran through the chances for every team to make the playoffs. For some of these teams in the top 10, their future looks really bright which prompted the question of whether multiple teams from the same conference can get in? Also which conference would be the one to do this?
After doing a little bit of research I was able to find out that each conference gets paid 6 million dollars for their team to even make the playoffs. 6 MILLION! That must be agonizing for the Pac 12 who have only made the playoffs twice time in the 6 years it has been around. The SEC has been the only conference to ever send two teams to the playoffs and this occurred when every other power 5 champions had lost twice. Both the SEC teams would end up meeting in the championship for an epic game. Could it be done again?
I did my reattach I figured out how it could work and I came out with the outcomes. The toughest would be the Big 12 right now, they are just in a tough spot to pull this feat. The best chance would have to go to the SEC which isn’t too exciting considering they already did that. Here is the breakdown for each of the Power 5 conferences from least likely to most likely.
5. Big 12
Yeah, they definitely have the longest and toughest path for them to even attempt to pull this off. If we rewind and had an undefeated OU, Texas, and Oklahoma State we would be looking at this completely differently. Unfortunately for the Big 12 that is not the case. The best chance on paper lies in the hands-of Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Both of them are at the top of the conference right now and already played each other. If they both ran the table and split the series with each other, OSU would have 1 loss and ISU would have 2. It doesn’t look terribly bad, although ISU lost to Lousiana. When you really think about it though, anything is possible with what has already happened.
4. Pac 12
The Pac 12 are above the Big 12 right now for one reason and one reason only. They are only playing 6 regular season matchups. It is a very real possibility two of these teams can come out undefeated. The problem is, the biggest players from every team has moved on into the NFL draft. Most of these teams are in a rebuild right now and that is going to make it tough. The number one for this conference would have to go to Oregon and the second team would be USC. USC plays on the other side of the conference and avoid Oregon in the regular season which is huge. Realistically both of these teams have a low chance of going undefeated with their young teams.
Yeah, I know that they have two teams in the top fours right now, it doesn’t change my mind. To pull this off, Notre Dame would have to play their best football in a very long time. The Irish are good, they just are not Clemson good. Unfortunately for them, they play the Tigers in the regular season. With the Tigers being a lock for the title, that means they will have to play them again. That is if they run the table. UNC is another option but with one loss already, they are not in good shape at all. I will give the best shot to the Irish, in the hope that they split the series with Clemson. In that case, I think they are the front runner, but with the strength of the Tigers, the ACC moves to third.
Yeah, I just did that. The SEC comes in second place because they are not the same conference anymore. Teams are knocking teams off one by one with it getting harder and harder to see teams in the rankings. This has gotten so bad where Texas A&M has zero ranked opponents left and they play in the SEC West. I have no words for this conference which used to have such pride in their defense. It has been nonexistent and this conference is starting to look like the older Big 12. If anyone comes out for a two-team playoff just remember it won’t be an undefeated team and a one-loss team. Georgia has already lost to Bama and playing them again should give them their second loss. It would give the best chance to the Gators and the Crimson Tide with the outcome of the championship not mattering.
1. Big 10
The Big 10’s late start look like it will impact them positively, all they teams just look good. The Buckeyes played a great game and the Wolverines also dominated. On the other side of the conference we have what looks to be a great Wisconsin team which will be in the mix. With two choices between OSU and UM and Wisconsin on the other side there are plenty of options. Penn State could have been in this mix too, but a bitter loss last week took them out of contention. The game between OSU and Michigan has never been more important this year. Winner will play Wisconsin and the conference should hopefully get one undefeated champion and one with one loss. The Buckeyes will likely come out on top and the Badgers will follow them.
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