With a Clemson loss, can someone new sneak into the College Football Playoff?
As week 10 of the college football season comes to an end, the College Football Playoff is starting to become hazier. Clemson just suffered their first loss to the Irish, Florida made their case for the top four, and the Pac-12 finally got their season started. There is still plenty of time left for chaos and we have some scenarios to consider going forward.
1. A Pac-12 team must go undefeated and win in style
As mentioned, the Pac-12 finally started their season, but with the latest start among the Power Five conferences, even an unbeaten Pac-12 champion might not get in. The reason being is they are only scheduled to play six games with the seventh game being the conference championship. As it stands, the only team that may have a chance is the Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks beat Stanford 35-14 in their opener and were never threatened. They had 496 total yards of offense with 269 of them coming on the ground. Their defense only allowed 14 points, but they will need to limit their opponents’ yardage going forward to score points with the committee. The only way the Ducks or any Pac-12 team has a chance is to win convincingly every week. Also, because of the conference rule regarding COVID-19 issues, if Oregon has a game canceled, they will probably be eliminated from contention.
2. Florida controls their own destiny
Florida clearly took control of the SEC East on Saturday, but a conference championship game against (likely) Alabama still looms at the end of the year. Beating Bama means they are almost guaranteed a spot in the playoff. Losing, however, means they are all but out. The Gators have the offense to beat the Tide, especially with Kyle Trask under center. He just threw for 474 yards against Georgia and the Crimson Tide have shown some weakness against the pass this season. Their defense will need to improve against the pass, but with a few games remaining, I expect the Gators to have some kind of game-plan ready.
3. Clemson is still in the mix
The Irish did the unthinkable in week 10 and beat Clemson. Though, Notre Dame is not going to be given full credit because Trevor Lawrence was out. That will keep the Tigers in the conversation and may not drop them out of the top four just yet. With not much resistance remaining for either side, we should also expect a rematch in the ACC championship. That is where the Tigers can reassert their dominance and prove they are a top-four team again. Especially once Lawrence is back on the field, the Tigers are going to be looking to prove that loss was a fluke.
4. Don’t forget the BYU Cougars
The Cougars may be an independent, but they are a good football team. They have crushed almost every team they have faced, including a 51-17 win over a ranked Boise State team. Not that they have a good chance to make the playoff, but if enough happens, it is possible they will be considered. Especially if Alabama gives Florida a second loss, Clemson loses again to the Irish, and the Pac-12 beat each other up. Zach Wilson has put BYU on the radar, so watch out for them going forward.
At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.