- The latest playoff ranking is out and Miami is up to No. 2 ahead of Clemson.
- It’s clear that an 8-team playoff would be amazing and would answer all the debates.
- A projected playoff would include all the major conference champs and Central Florida.
The latest College Football Playoff ranking is out and not much changed as Alabama, Miami, Clemson, and Oklahoma remain the top four teams – Miami moved ahead of Clemson and are now second – and Wisconsin remains the fifth team just waiting to move ahead of the team that loses the ACC title game, Miami or Clemson.
While the playoff appears to be headed towards a major debate over the final spots, and at least one Power 5 Conference champion is going to be left out, one thing is clear: an 8-team playoff this season would be awesome.
Below, we projected what an 8-team playoff might look like this season if things continue the way they are going now.
To determine the field for an 8-team playoff, we projected the champions of the five major BCS conferences, and then gave the final three spots to the highest ranked team from a Group of 5 conference and two at-large teams.
Here is what the 8-team playoff would look like:
We assumed that higher ranked teams win all remaining games and that Clemson would still be ranked ahead of Auburn and Georgia if all three lost one more game.
Alabama (SEC), Miami (ACC), Oklahoma (Big 12), Wisconsin (Big Ten), and USC (Pac-12) are the projected champions of the Power 5 conferences. Central Florida would be the representative from the Group of 5 conferences. And the two at-large teams would be Notre Dame and Clemson, with both ranked ahead of USC and UCF.
Under this scenario, the top six teams in the playoff ranking would be included in the playoff. The biggest losers in this scenario would be a potentially 2-loss Georgia team and a potentially 2-loss Penn State team. This assumes Auburn loses to Alabama, Georgia loses to Alabama in the SEC title game, and Ohio State loses to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.
The playoff could certainly include a provision requiring the top Group of 5 team to be ranked in the top 15 or top 25 (UCF is currently ranked 15th). If no team met the minimum standard, the final spot would go to an additional at-large team (e.g. Georgia or Penn State).
Now imagine a New Year’s Day slate of the four quarterfinal matchups listed above. A week later, we would potentially see semifinal matchups of Alabama vs. Notre Dame, and Oklahoma vs. Miami. Now that is two weeks of dream football before we even got to the championship game.
Everybody would win.
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