Alabama and Ohio State Are Playoff Locks, Don't Count Out Michigan


The college football regular season is over, but for a few Big 12 games. Here’s a look at how the playoff situation shakes out heading into the conference title games. Two places look set. But, an upset or two could see things get interesting.

The Top Four Right Now

Alabama is in. Alabama will not lose to Florida. Even if they lose, they won’t fall out of the top four at 12-1. Florida won’t supplant them in the playoff.

Ohio State is in. The Buckeyes entered the weekend No. 2. They beat No. 3. They have a win-loss record, quality wins, and head-to-head advantage over Wisconsin. They have a win-loss record and quality wins advantage over Penn State.

Clemson can win to get in. Clemson is 11-1 entering the ACC title game. The Tigers are a lock at 12-1. 11-2 could get dicey. Louisville losing twice does not help their argument.

Washington can win to get in. The Huskies are a lock at 12-1 with a Pac 12 title. Lose, however, and Washington is out.

Outside Looking In

B1G Champ: Either Wisconsin or Penn State will win the Big Ten. That winner should be first in line among two-loss teams if Clemson or Washington falter.

Michigan: Michigan won’t fall far. Could the Wolverines be in the mix with Wisconsin or Penn State and potentially Colorado? They beat all three of those teams during the regular season, two by double digits. They played four teams in the broader playoff mix. None beat them in regulation. Not saying Michigan would deserve it. But, it’s a decision the committee could defend.

Colorado: Colorado would present an intriguing case as the Pac 12 champ at 11-2. The Buffaloes would, certainly, be a great story. But Washington State and Utah could both be outside the Top 25. Making a case for them with quality wins is hard.

B12 Champ: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State decides the B12 title. Bedlam will also be the resulting champion’s only quality win. Maybe West Virginia. The Big 12 underwhelmed this year. Oklahoma lost to Houston and was blown out at home by Ohio State. The Cowboys lost to a MAC team and would not be a one-loss conference champ outside Stillwater.