As the season closes, the playoff picture gets clearer in what has been a very chalky season at the top. OSR’s top nine has separated into two tiers. The top five all control their own fate for the most part, since Georgia and Alabama play each other for the SEC title game. The one nightmare scenario would be Georgia winning the SEC and all other contender winning out, meaning the committee would have to choose four from the following:
Clemson (13-0), ACC Champs
Notre Dame (12-0), Win over Michigan
Georgia (12-1), SEC Champs, win over Alabama
Michigan (12-1), Big Ten Champs
Alabama (12-1), Best team in the country by eye test and most advanced stats
You have to assume the first three teams get in, based on either being undefeated, having a head-to-head win against another contender, or both. Michigan and Alabama would then be fighting for the final spot. Alabama looks like the best team in the country, and they’ve made it in without a conference title before, but would that be enough? Michigan would have wins over Ohio State, Penn State, and Northwestern (twice), whereas Alabama would only have two ranked wins in all likelihood (LSU, Mississippi State), and both potential contenders have losses to playoff teams. It’s a very weird situation, and it’s not hard to imagine happening. For fun, let’s say Pitt uses its voodoo and upends Clemson in the ACC title game, just for fun. The season ain’t over, all teams can do is handle their own business.
Voters: John Bray, Neil Brown, Shawn Digity, John Pearson, Matthew Ruskan, Michael Valacer, Justin Wagner