The first reports suggested chaos--not unusual for a college football season in mid November. The No. 2, 3, 4 and No. 9 teams in the rankings had all lost. Not since 1985 had their been such unexpected outcomes in one weekend.
Surely this would shake up the College Football Playoff Selection Committee which had labeled Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington as its Top 4 a week ago.
Surely there would be some major seismic rumblings in the structure of a football playoff system which has always been fragile--the basic premise of fitting 5 Power Conference champions into 4 playoff slots can not work.
Surely, some of the losers would be doomed, right?
Well....get a grip folks. There will be some movement when the Committee announces its latest rankings on Tuesday night, but NO ONE was mortally wounded.
Let's look at what we have and assign odds to the Final Four contenders. (this is, after all, A Jersey Guy)[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
- ALABAMA-- 4:5--The American Pharoah of college football. There is the Tide and there is everything else.
- MICHIGAN--3:1--The loss to Iowa was a wake up call. But the Wolverines still control their own destiny--and they have to win in Columbus in two weeks..
- CLEMSON--3-1--Forget the loss on Saturday. It was a Clemson moment. If the Tigers win out, they are a lock for the Final Four.
- PENN STATE--8:1--The Nittany Lions will be big Ohio State fans against Michigan. If the Buckeyes win and Penn State does what it needs to do and beats Rutgers and Michigan State, the Nittany Lions are in the Big Ten championship game. Then they need to win the Big Ten title--probably against Wisconsin. Making it past that to the Final Four will be tougher with two losses.
- OHIO STATE--8: 1--If the Buckeyes win out, they will be 11-1, but need Penn State to lose a game to win the Big Ten East. If that doesn't happen, they need Penn State to win the division and lose the Big Ten title game. With wins over Michigan, Wisconsin and Oklahoma on their resume they would be a Final Four contender.
- WISCONSIN--8:1--Need to win Big Ten West and Big Ten title. But two losses could leave them out.
- LOUISVILLE--10:1--Have to finish 11-1. But not being a Division champ and few quality wins hurts their chances unless Clemson loses a game.
- WASHINGTON--10:1---Huskies took a hit with loss to USC. Have to finish 11-1, which means a win at Washington State and a win in the Pac-12 championship game to finish at 12-1.
- OKLAHOMA--15:1--Sooners are on a roll, but need wins over West Virginia and Oklahoma State to even be considered. If that happens, they need to win some tie breakers against other conference runners up. Toughest will be edging out Ohio State as a Big 10 runner up. Buckeyes would have one less loss and a head to head win over Oklahoma in Norman.
- FLORIDA--25:1--Need to beat Alabama in SEC title game and hope there are upsets in other conferences.
- UTAH--50:1--Needs a season ending win at Colorado and then will obviously need to win the Pac-12 title.
- COLORADO--50:1--Would be one of the the longest shots on the board. Need wins against Washington State and Utah in their final two games, a win in the Pac-12 title game and some upsets in other conferences
- WEST VIRGINIA-75:1-- Must beat Oklahoma and Baylor and hope for an Oklahoma State win over Oklahoma. And then pray for some upsets.
- OKLAHOMA STATE--100:1--Must finish with road victories at TCU and Oklahoma. And pray for some upsets.
So there you have it. A list of the contenders in a college football race that was stirred up a bit by Saturday's games, but not shaken to the point where the overall picture has dramatically changed.
Enjoy the final month of the season.
Best line of Week: An Alabama fan: '"Since the Presidential election on on Tuesday, Auburn is 0-1. Trump is making America Great again.''[/membership]