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Could This Scenario Keep The Big Ten Out Of The Playoffs

The college football season is starting to near the end, and you know what that means: the College Football Playoff conversation is beginning to heat up.

We have already had two College Football Playoff polls released over the past two weeks, and they were a hot talking point with Ohio State being put first in both polls, and many were outraged.

Everything will work itself out, so nobody needs to lose any sleep over what the committee was thinking in their first two polls.

The Big Ten currently has three teams ranked inside the Top 10 with #1 Ohio State, #3 Michigan, and #10 Penn State. Ohio State and Michigan are perfect on the season, while Penn State has one loss, which was on the hands of the Buckeyes.

Michigan has yet to be tested this season, but they finally will face their first contest when they travel to State College to face Penn State this weekend.

Michigan's favored in the game, but if the unlikely happens and they were to lose, it could cause a complete mess inside the Big Ten.

For this scenario, we will have Penn State beat Michigan and finish 11-1, Michigan beat Ohio State, and they both end at 11-1.

We would have a three-way tie with Ohio State beating Penn State, Penn State beating Michigan, and Michigan beating Ohio State.

Penn State would get the tiebreaker that would put them into the Big Ten championship game due to their Big Ten West opponents' records being better than Ohio State's and Michigan's.

At this point, Michigan would be out of the playoff, their schedule is awful, and they would be 1-1 in the only two big games on their schedule.

Ohio State could have a fighting chance since they have a massive win over Notre Dame and beat the Big Ten champs, but it would be a huge uphill climb for them to get in.

Penn State would have the Big Ten title, a win against Michigan, Iowa, and maybe even Iowa again in the title game. At this point, Penn State would be the only team that could make the playoffs from the Big Ten. Now we must see how a 12-1 Penn State compares to the rest of the field.


Let's head to the ACC, where two teams are alive, with undefeated Florida State and one loss Louisville.

Louisville would need a lot to go their way to make the playoffs, and that would be winning out and then beating Florida State in the ACC championship game, which won't happen so I will take them out of the conversation.

Florida State is still perfect, with a record of 9-0, and they have already clinched a spot in the ACC championship game. Their remaining schedule is pretty easy, and if they were to win out and win the ACC, they would be an undefeated power five conference champion with wins against LSU, Clemson, Duke, and an 11-1 Louisville in the ACC title game.

There would be no argument to be had Florida State will be in the playoffs, taking one of the four spots.

Big 12

The Big 12 is down to one team that could reach the playoff: the 8-1 Texas Longhorns. Texas is in control of its density if it wins out. Texas has TCU, Iowa State, and Texas Tech remaining on schedule.

The Longhorns should be able to win all three of those games and head to the Big 12 title game. There are still a handful of teams Texas could face in the Big 12 title, but the opponent will most likely be ranked inside the Top 20.

Texas should be able to win the Big 12, and they would finish at 12-1 with a huge win against Alabama in Week Two on their resume. They also have some solid wins against Kansas and Kansas State, and their only loss came to Oklahoma, which was on the last drive of the game.

In this case, Texas will be in the playoff and have the upper hand against any one-loss Big Ten team. We have Texas and Florida State in two of the four playoff spots, and we must figure out the other two.


The Pac-12 has been the most challenging conference all season, and they have two teams they can still make the playoffs. Undefeated Washington and one loss Oregon, whose only loss came on the road at Washington on a missed field goal.

This is a pretty easy one: if Washington or Oregon wins the Pac-12 and they have no more than one loss, they will be in the playoff. The committee can't keep a one-loss PAC-12 champ out since this was the most demanding conference in the sport.

Oregon or Washington would claim the third playoff spot, and it would come down to the SEC champ or the Big Ten team for the last spot.


Here we go; we are down to the last spot, which looks bad for the Big Ten. There are still three teams from the SEC who could make the playoffs. Undefeated Georgia, one loss Alabama and Ole Miss. Ole Miss has to go on the road to face Georgia this week; for this case, we will say they lose the game. We are now down to Georgia and Alabama. That would make Georgia 10-0, and they would still have a challenging road game against Tennessee and Georgia Tech. They likely won't lose to Georgia Tech and could trip up against Tennessee, but they would still be in the SEC championship game with only one loss.

Alabama is favored to win their next three games, and if they do, they would either meet a one-loss or unbeaten Georgia in the SEC championship game.

It doesn't matter who wins this game because the winner is getting in. The committee will include a one-loss or unbeaten SEC champ over a one-loss Big Ten team.

Of course, if Ohio State or Michigan finishes undefeated, one of them will get in the playoff, but if this scenario does play out and it's not that wild, the Big Ten could be left at home this playoff season.

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