Conference Championship Saturday is upon us and if I hear another person say this is the official start of college football’s postseason, I’ll snap. Conventional wisdom says Alabama and Clemson will roll and join Notre Dame as undefeated playoff participants. Conventional wisdom says Oklahoma and Ohio State are competing for that last spot. But it’s always good practice and good content to prepare for all scenarios, so let’s do just that.
Let’s say the following scenario plays out in the interest of mass chaos:
- Alabama beats Georgia by four touchdowns.
- Texas beats Oklahoma by three points.
- Northwestern upsets Ohio State.
- UCF dominates Memphis, completes undefeated season.
There’s really no easy answer. Every team that comes to mind is tough to say out loud because they all have obvious flaws. And while I think the answer would be Georgia, I have no idea what the committee would do with its back against the wall.
Michigan can be dismissed out of hand. They will not be rewarded for sitting home. LSU would have had a pretty good shot had they survived Texas A&M because the committee’s been treating a loss to Alabama like half a loss all year (which will help Georgia). The Tigers were housed at home and still remained the most favored two-loss team in the country.
Given the above scenario, I’d slot Oklahoma at No. 4 and brace for the hate. Two close losses to Texas — one on the road and one at a neutral site — would prove one thing: the Sooners couldn’t beat the Longhorns. But they beat everyone else. Georgia may be more deserving in that case. I just don’t think giving them another shot at Alabama in three weeks after getting blown out would be prudent.
The most interesting consideration is UCF. They lost quarterback McKenzie Milton, but would be undefeated. Could the committee lead them like lambs to the slaughter against Alabama? Should they? My personal feeling is no, they are not one of the four best teams in the country.
But not getting in this year over a two-loss team would sting. It would raise questions as to why UCF is even a part of this thing. If not this year, when? It should be no surprise, though. A two-loss team made the BCS final. A two-loss team will eventually make the final four.
One thing is for sure: those in charge would prefer such a dilemma never materialized. Those of us who like chaos, though, are yearning for the chaos and to don our best Joker smile as the wreckage smolders.