The Ultimate College Football Playoff Chaos Scenario Involves Five 2-Loss Conference Champions

The Ultimate College Football Playoff Chaos Scenario Involves Five 2-Loss Conference Champions

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The Ultimate College Football Playoff Chaos Scenario Involves Five 2-Loss Conference Champions

Anything worth doing is worth doing all the way, so there’s no reason trying to game out some college football chaos. Let’s explore complete Armageddon, a not-so-outlandish situation in which all Power 5 conference champions have two losses and three one-loss teams are also in the mix. It’s definitely a distinct possibility.

Here’s what needs to happen.

ACC: Miami beats Virginia and Pitt. Clemson beats Citadel but drops the season finale against South Carolina. The Tigers win the conference championship game against the Hurricanes.

Big Ten: Wisconsin beats Michigan and Minnesota. Ohio State takes care of Illinois and Michigan. The Buckeyes defeat the Badgers in Indianapolis.

Big 12: Oklahoma beats Kansas and West Virginia. TCU beats Texas Tech and Baylor. The Horned Frogs win the rematch and conference.

SEC: Auburn beats Alabama to win the West. Georgia downs Kentucky and Georgia. The Tigers once again get the better of the Bulldogs in Atlanta.

PAC 12: USC downs UCLA, then bests either Stanford, Washington, or Washington State in the conference title game.

If all that happens, here is what the selection committee will have in front of them. Let’s also assume Notre Dame wins out.

Alabama 11-1

Wisconsin 12-1

Miami 12-1

Auburn 11-2*

Clemson 11-2*

Oklahoma 11-2

TCU 11-2*

Ohio State 11-2*

USC 11-2*

Georgia 11-2

Notre Dame 10-2

*  Conference champion

What would the committee do in such a scenario? What should it do?

To answer both questions, it’s helpful to go week by week, looking at the probable rankings should everything play out as specified.

My best guess for tomorrow night is:

  1. Alabama
  2. Miami
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Clemson
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Auburn
  7. Georgia
  8. Ohio State
  9. Notre Dame
  10. USC
  11. TCU

Wisconsin has the biggest opportunity to make a move this weekend by beating Michigan. I believe they’d jump into the top four with a victory, leaving the rankings entering the final weekend:

  1. Alabama
  2. Miami
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Clemson
  6. Auburn
  7. Georgia
  8. Ohio State
  9. Notre Dame
  10. USC
  11. TCU

Following all the craziness of the regular season finales, the rankings would have a much different look, perhaps like this:

  1. Miami
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Auburn
  5. Alabama
  6. Ohio State
  7. Georgia
  8. Notre Dame
  9. USC
  10. Clemson
  11. TCU

In one sense, this would set up a fairly straightforward set of stakes for teams 1-4. Win the conference title game and make the playoff. Of course, in the Armageddon scenario, the top three teams lose.

So what then?

Auburn, as SEC champ, feels like the safest bet among the conference champions. They’ll have won the most lauded conference and have two wins over Georgia and one over Alabama. The next three spots are much harder to sort out.

Reasonable minds can disagree, but here’s what I’d do under this incredible set of circumstances:

  1. Auburn
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Miami

This would mean not one but three Power 5 conference winners would be on the outside looking in (TCU, Clemson and USC). The playoff would have not one but two two-loss teams, including Auburn at No. 1. And yes, this is what I’d expect the actual committee to do, fair or otherwise.

What say you?

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