It was as if the College Football Playoff’s selection panel this season didn’t qualify for a contest.
Unbalanced schedules, delayed departures, interruptions and cancellations due to coronavirus pandemic. And then, on Saturday, the ACC and SEC further complicated the playoff picture as both supported an early case of two the top four candidates.
No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Notre Dame, having the chance to meet again in the ACC championship match, were split with just a touch in Ireland’s 47-40 double win, while Florida and Alabama also had seems to be colliding. of course for their conference championship game.
While it may seem a bit early to bring that potential debate, but the toughest times in their schedule are already behind and should all be given priority in each of their remaining games. ESPN̵7;s Football Strength Index gives Clemson, Notre Dame, Alabama and Florida a greater 71% chance of winning each final game of the season.
With Alabama and Ohio both on the fast track to finishing in the top four, it is possible the commission will pick them up alongside Clemson. and Notre Dame (if Clemson beat the Irish to win the ACC title and they both end up with a defeat – lose each other). The commission may also consider a top four including the State of Ohio, champion ACC, Alabama and Florida, if Gators upset Tide in the SEC championship game.
Considering the level of competition from the Notre Dame-Clemson game, however, the ACC playoff position is more like a realistic scenario for a Power 5 conference to place two teams in the top four. The selection committee will take into account the fact that Clemson winger Trevor Lawrence was sidelined in that match because of the coronavirus virus, but the Tigers midfield situation would not have been a determining factor in his playoff potential. Clemson, nor will it diminish what Notre Dame has achieved.
Clemson’s toughest remaining match was December 5 at Virginia Tech (78%) – and the Hokies just lost to Liberty. They are also the only ACC team left in Clemson’s schedule over .500. Notre Dame is arguably the toughest ending, with three of the last four games on the way, including a Friday night game in North Carolina.
Irish manager Brian Kelly appeared disappointed and immediately halted the playoff match on Saturday.
“We have a lot of work to do, and see, BC [Boston College] It will be a challenge for us, “Kelly told reporters after Ireland’s win over Clemson.” I have to revive this team, be mentally ready to play. We have goals behind us. There are a lot of things on my plate, regarding what I have to do, apart from really taking care of myself with the playoffs and who comes in and who doesn’t? There are others who will do it. “
And that might be the toughest decision they ever made.
While Alabama bid farewell for a week, SEC East took center stage on Saturday, and Florida emerged as its leader with a 44-28 win over Georgia 5. According to ESPN’s FPI, Florida has an 89% chance of winning the East. Currently, the last five Gators competitors have a combined record of 9-18 and none of them exceed .500. Gators’ toughest remaining match, according to FPI, was their regular season final on December 12 against LSU (75.9%). There’s no reason to be disappointed, but if Florida stumbles along the way, it’s clearly not ready for a semi-final.
Florida boss Dan Mullen has said he wants to see how well his team can be on the pitch. The Gators have been deprived in most games for various reasons, and on Saturday Kyle Pitts left the match due to an injury.
“We up to the point now we are in first place east in the midpoint,” Mullen said. “How far can we go? I don’t know. Hopefully we can get back to work [Sunday] and look to beat Arkansas next week, and if we’re worried about anything other than that, then we won’t continue enjoying the great things we’ve enjoyed so far this year. . “
Florida’s 41-38 defeat to Texas A&M was not as bad as it happened on October 10. Aggies No. 7 dealt with South Carolina 48-3. What if Texas A&M wins – and wins over the champions of the East SEC – but Alabama wins the West?
Now throw Clemson and Notre Dame into the debate, and the committee got really messed up to settle. Does the committee consider the second-placed teams in the ACC and SEC to be better than the champions Pac-12? An unbeaten BYU? Cincinnati?
A strong start to the Pac-12
Pac-12’s top two playoff contenders – No. 12 Oregon and No. 20 USC – won their opening match respectively, giving the conference the needed start, albeit significantly later. . The longer a league’s ranked teams can hold their rankings, the longer that team will remain part of the playoff conversation.
While it is still too early to tell if either team will make it to the top 4, if a certain team becomes the elite convention champion, then the committee will consider giving a place to the semi-finals – despite a shorter seven-match schedule.
The question is whether Duck or Trojan can grow from good to large.
“How good can we be? We can be really good,” said Oregon coach Mario Cristobal. “We can be a great team. I feel confident that we will get there. I feel confident that these guys will wake up and be really eager to get back in no time.”
As expected, both teams made mistakes in their debut matches in almost a year, but the USC defied the rules of football by beating the State of Arizona 28-27 despite a four penalty shootout. . It was also the PT hourly start time for a team that hadn’t played a single game in nearly a year.
USC manager Clay Helton said he told the team “we all make mistakes”, but there are also “some really good things here.”
“This team could be really good, and yes, there was a lot of rust, and we got rid of it,” Helton said. “But what makes this team, I think, especially the thinking and how they deal with adversity, and the players.
“And then defense, if we can get rid of the big games – and a lot of it comes from pocket midfielders – if we take those out, this has a chance of going back.” It’s a big hurdle for us today We know how big it is, we know what it means for conferences and for getting conferences. Today is great. “
With just seven games, that’s how it plays out every week in Pac-12.
Is the Big Ten deeper than the State of Ohio?
Maybe, but not because of Penn State or Michigan.
Buckeyes’ next two games are against Maryland and Indiana – two teams that have rocked the Big Ten’s balance of power in recent weeks with victories over Penn State and Michigan. While Terps and Hoosiers have made significant strides in recent weeks, they are not at the Ohio State elite level as programs continue to evolve.
However, do they have the confidence and motivation to overcome their sadness?
Buckeyes are still favorably winning each of their remaining matches, but who will win the Wild West? Assuming the State of Ohio goes on to play the Big Ten championship game, there’s no telling who it might face right now, as Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin have yet to be beaten. Wisconsin played only one game and the Badgers’ situation was precarious after canceling two games because of the COVID-19 outbreak on the show.
Badgers must play each of their remaining five games, starting Saturday in Michigan, in order to meet the Big Ten standard of six games in order to qualify for the congress championship game. Purdue also missed out on a game as it was supposed to play Wisconsin.
The Big Ten’s unprecedented season continues, with Ohio State seemingly the only team to follow the script so far.
Who can break the party?
According to Allstate Playoff Predictor, it kicked off with Cincinnati, the team having won their 18th consecutive match with Saturday’s 38-10 win over Houston. If Cincinnati wins (including the AAC championship match), the Bearcats will have a 38 percent chance of making it to the playoffs, according to Allstate Playoff Predictor. Entering the weekend, it’s the fourth highest chance to hit the CFP – behind Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson.
The selection panel compared the general opponents, and both Cincinnati and the unbeaten BYU now beat Houston. Bearcats held Houston by 10 points and 282 yards; BYU edged Houston by 26-14 in the third half and led 29-26 with four minutes remaining before scoring two tackles. Houston has a total of 438 yards.
Competitive rivalry is only one factor. The strength of the schedule is another thing, and Cincinnati could have an advantage there. Bearcats have three wins over teams with winning records, while BYU has two in eight.
BYU got a much-needed win over a ranked opponent on Friday 51-17 against Boise State on green turf. The question is whether Broncos will be considered a competitor in the top 25 in the eyes of the committee. Cincinnati also has a win over its ranked competitor, October 24 at No. 16 SMU. BYU has only two games left – November 21 against North Alabama and December 12 against San Diego State – and will win convincingly both. Cincinnati has a tougher road to go, with three of the last four games going on, and ESPN’s FPI just giving Bearcats a 33.3 percent chance to win at UCF on November 21.
If Cincinnati won and ended up as the AAC champion, then it would likely have won in the background argument against the independent BYU. While both have a chance to grab a spot in a New Year match, Cincinnati seems to be in a better position to make a push.
However, the ACC and SEC could have made it more difficult on Saturday.