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Path to the Playoff: Final Weekend on Tap

One more weekend until the Playoff picture is clear. What we know after this weekend is that Notre Dame clinched a spot and Michigan is eliminated. The two big games next weekend will be the Oklahoma – Texas rematch and Alabama – Georgia. Georgia could pull off the upset as a very good team; probably the third best team in college football. The smart money is on Alabama, of course, but it could happen.

Both Clemson and Ohio State should roll against Pittsburgh (S&P+ 63; FPI 49) and Northwestern (78; 41), respectively. If nothing crazy happens (Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State win), then the Playoff field is Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame with the Committee having a choice to make between Oklahoma and Ohio State.

With Oklahoma beating the number 13 team this weekend, I doubt Ohio State jumps them. Last week Oklahoma was 6th and Ohio State 10th. I have a hard time seeing a dominant win by Ohio State over Northwestern being enough to jump them the final week, even though Northwestern is ranked 19th.  They should stay about the same after a 24-16 win over 4-8 Illinois as should Texas after a 24-17 win over Kansas. Oklahoma likely controls its destiny.

An Alabama loss to Georgia would result in Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, and Notre Dame. A Clemson loss means we give up our spot to Ohio State if Oklahoma wins or Georgia if Oklahoma loses.

Next weekend we have a full day of college football starting with Oklahoma – Texas at noon EST on ABC, then Alabama – Georgia at 4:00 on CBS, then Clemson – Pittsburgh at 8:00 on ABC. South Carolina plays Akron at noon for those interested. One final note, I messed up thinking Oklahoma would play West Virginia again. West Virginia’s loss to Oklahoma State nixed it.

2018 Schedule (S&P+ Rank)
  • Furman – Did not play
  • Texas A&M (20) – W
    • Beat LSU in 7OT 74-72
    • Mond passed for 5.9 yards/att.; 46.9%
    • Trayveon Williams ran for 198 yards, 5.7 per carry
  • Georgia Southern (61) – W
    • Beat Georgia State 35-14
  • Georgia Tech (72) – L
    • Lost to Georgia 45-21
    • Ran for 2.8 yards/carry
    • Allowed 6.8 yards/carry
  • Syracuse (44) – W
    • Beat Boston College 42-21
    • Dungey passed for 10.6 yards/att.; 61.8%
  • Wake Forest (77) – W
    • Beat Duke 59-7
    • Held Jones to 4.0 yards/att.; 47.2%
  • NC State (33) – W
    • Beat UNC 34-28 in OT
    • UNC matched them on yards per pass attempt and yards per carry
  • Florida State (84) – L
    • Lost to Florida 41-14
    • Franks passed for 9.8 yards/att. to Francois’s 5.3
  • Louisville (109) – L
    • Lost to Kentucky 56-10
    • Allowed 10.9 yards/att.; 70.8%
  • Boston College (70) – L
    • Lost to Syracuse
  • Duke (67) – L
    • Lost to Wake Forest
  • South Carolina (36) – L
    • Lost to Clemson

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