The final regular season weekend of college football is upon us, with the Pac-12 Championship Game this evening. Things could go according to plan, or they could become a total mess, like the October 4th weekend this year — which started us all, as fans, on the path to the December 6th weekend.
Here now, some scenarios:
Option 1: Everyone that should win wins.
This would mean Alabama beats Missouri, Oregon beats Arizona, TCU beats Iowa State, and Florida State wins the ACC Championship over Georgia Tech. It would also mean Baylor beats Kansas State and Ohio State beats Wisconsin. Assuming Baylor doesn’t win by 50 points, you’d have to assume the four teams in this scenario are Alabama, Oregon, TCU, and FSU (in some order).
Option 2: Everyone that should win loses.
Here, you’d have Missouri as SEC Champion, Arizona as Pac-12 Champion, Iowa State beating TCU, Georgia Tech as ACC Champion, Wisconsin as Big Ten Champion, and Kansas State over Baylor. I don’t think Missouri would move into the four-team playoff, but in this case, Arizona would probably get in. (Since their basketball team is pretty good, they could be playing in two Final Fours in a single year — that’s some Florida 2006 type stuff.) Kansas State might even get in, and Alabama probably still would (even though they lost the SEC and would have losses to Missouri and Ole Miss). You’d probably think Arizona, Alabama, Kansas State, and Oregon here. Could be wrong.
Option 3: Alabama and TCU win, Oregon and FSU lose.
This is what I actually think will happen, although if I was a Horned Frogs fan (I do live in Fort Worth, just not a full-on fan yet), I’d be worried about this game from 2011, where Iowa State stunned No. 2 Oklahoma State:
So let’s say Alabama beats Missouri, which they should. And TCU beats Iowa State, which they should since ISU is 2-9. Then Oregon loses — Arizona owns them of late — and FSU finally drops a game after trailing in the first three quarters. Then the four is probably Alabama, TCU, Baylor, and Ohio State/Arizona. That’s provided a Baylor win, of course, and based on what happens with Ohio State. That’s a good team, but with a new QB and Melvin Gordon rushing on the other side, you have to assume they could lose.
Option 4: Alabama, Oregon, TCU win; FSU loses.
FSU has become kind of a semi-evil program over their win streak, so people probably want to see this happen. In this case, Baylor probably gets in if they win, making it Alabama, Oregon, TCU, and Baylor. That means you have two situations (the two above) where the Big 12 gets two teams in the first-ever four-team playoff — and neither of those teams are Texas or Oklahoma. In fact, the most relevant thing about Oklahoma at this moment is that Bob Stoops could go to Michigan. Given how the rankings looked at the start of this season, that’s kind of crazy, right?
The Games You Should Focus On
There are literally countless other options. I won’t go into every single one here, as this post would become boring as all hell. Here’s the weekend schedule. Here’s how to break it down:
- Tonight, you’ll know the deal with Oregon. If they win, they should be in. It would be hard to knock them from No. 2, probably.
- Tomorrow at 12pm is TCU-Iowa State. If TCU and Oregon have both won, you probably have two of the four teams (and possible opponents) locked in.
- Tomorrow at 4pm is Alabama-Missouri. Alabama wins and we have three of the four teams, depending on the results of the other games.
- Tomorrow at 7:45pm is where it gets interesting. You need to watch these three games (work the remote): Baylor-Kansas State, OSU-Wisconsin, and FSU-Georgia Tech. Based on what happens in the previous games, you should have a good idea of who’s doing what by about 11pm.
- Sunday at 12:30pm is the official draw.
What’s the scenario you see unfolding?