The College Football Playoff picture at the end of last weekend was quite straightforward. Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma State all had a high probability of winning their games. They would then be among the four semifinalists.
But it did not work out this way. Alabama won the SEC title match and defeated the Bulldogs. In dramatic fashion, the Cowboys lost to Baylor during the Big 12 title match.
These results have changed the calculation, but it’s not clear who the teams will play in the playoff. Michigan and Cincinnati were confirmed with wins. Georgia won despite being eliminated. Out goes Oklahoma State and in comes Alabama.
Only question remains as to where the quartet will be placed. There are cases to be made for Alabama as well as Michigan. Yes, Georgia was beaten by the Crimson Tide. But, they lost their previous three games against SEC competitors by an average of 15 points. This includes a defeat in four overtime to Auburn (6-6).
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After beating Penn State at home, the Wolverines have now dominated Ohio State and Iowa. Last week, the committee also placed Michigan ahead Alabama.
Another part of this calculation involves deciding where Georgia should be placed. The committee is likely to try and avoid another match in the semi-final of the SEC championship game. The Wolverines would be No. 1 if the Bulldogs didn’t fall behind Cincinnati. 1?
After all these considerations, it is likely that Alabama will lead Michigan, Georgia, and Cincinnati in this order when the announcement comes on Sunday afternoon.
Some other business matters were also resolved over the weekend. Utah State and Ohio State will be heading to the Rose Bowl. Baylor and Mississippi are heading to Sugar. With its ACC title, Pittsburgh has confirmed its spot in the New Year’s Six.
The bowl was added this week in order to make the postseason more accessible to the 84 winning teams. TBA. The chart shows the dates and locations.
Reminder: Some conferences may not fulfill their bowl allotment. Asterisks denote a replacement pick. The bold teams have accepted berths.