The Pac-12 hasn’t even started playing yet, but it might be one of the biggest winners of the weekend.
With Oklahoma’s overtime defeat in Texas in the Big 12, there are no more undefeated teams, leaving the league in the worst conditions in the Power 5 conference in the university football play-offs. After Clemson, Alabama, Ohio and Notre Dame (in whatever order you plead) all won on Saturday and Georgia still clinging to the bubble with one defeat, the 12 major countries have officially won the CFP head to head.
In the meantime, the Pac-12 will start their seven-minute game in the conference room this week, and when they hand over the undefeated conference winner, they’ll almost certainly take over the Big 12’s semi-final berth. Given the chance that the Big 12 champion will now suffer several defeats (the ESPN football power index had a probability of about 96% after the match), it also increases the chances of the Pac 12 champion, who lost due to a defeat, to take the lead in a tough debate.
But maybe she’s looking too far into the future.
It is still too early to completely eliminate the Power 5 team with a loss and the possibility to win a conference, including Oklahoma. The Allstate Playoff Predictor has indeed already done so by giving cowboys a 1.5% chance of reaching the CFP after they have lost – and that may be true – but the number of cruncher cannot predict the impact of the pandemic.
The coronavirus has already overshadowed the potential Trevor Lawrence project, overthrown the Big Ten leader in western Wisconsin and forced the mighty Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as virtually every other conference, to rearrange their own agenda. With almost two more months of play in this unprecedented season, no one knows how the virus will continue to affect an already unpredictable sport or how many games each team will play.
What we do know is that it will be extremely difficult for Oklahoma to win. Four of the next five games are up for grabs, including a back-to-back game in the next two weeks in which opponents Kansas State #16 and Oklahoma #24 will win. Cowboys have not made any speed gains in the Bedlam series since 2014. FPI ESPN gives the state of Oklahoma a 38.1% chance to win this game (hence the assumption that the Big 12 champion is likely to suffer a multiple defeat because every other team in the league already has at least two).
What if the cowboys win and they win the Big 12? And Notre Dame loses to Clemenson and North Carolina? And Georgia loses the second game?
Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders, who sat with his head down and with an ice bag chained to his shoulder after losing the Longhorns, assumed most of the responsibility, but said the team could refocus its goals.
We just have to win, he said, and tomorrow’s training is tomorrow’s mentality. We just need to keep moving forward and stay focused. We can still win, and we’re doing our best. It’s sad to lose her, but you mustn’t give up. We’re men. Let’s move on. What really defines us is how we respond to it.
If the Big Twelve make it all the way to the end of the playoffs, it could also further legitimize the debate over Cincinnati’s undefeated number 7 or BYU’s undefeated number 11. Any team that is not part of Power 5 generally has a heavy burden of proof in the eyes of the committee because of the alleged weakness of the diagram. Although there is still one big obstacle, it is not inconceivable that the Power 5 races have enough chaos. The loss of the state of Oklahoma could certainly contribute to that.
Or she can open the door to Clemson and Notre Dame.
CCA rises without the protagonist?
Fault! The file name is not specified. Clemson will be without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence against Notre Dame on Saturday, but the Tigers still have Travis Etienne’s record. Josh Morgan (USA TODAY Sports)
After his team’s 34-28 victory at Boston College – the biggest victory in the history of Death Valley school – coach Clemson Dabo Piggy received praise from his team for not withdrawing from the challenge, despite not scoring 18 points without quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
And yes, according to him, even without Lawrence in Notre Dame, his team could still look like a candidate for Saturday’s playoffs.
Sure, why not? Piggy says. We’re 7-0. We won today, that’s all you can do – try to win day after day, and we’ll go from there.
All 13 members of the selection committee will know and believe that Clemens was absent for the toughest game of the Lawrence season. But whether they win or lose, this subgroup can’t change the playoff path for either team.
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On Saturday, they will be in South Bend, Indiana, Clemons and Notre Dame, defeat assured of course, but they can also meet in the CCA championship game. If the teams are split and their only loss this season is a loss to each other, the selection committee is likely to consider at least both for the semifinals.
As far as you can see, it’s the same for everyone, Piggy said. We all have the same problems, but I don’t care. That’s why they have a committee. You can sit down and ask around. I have no control over these things, so I won’t waste two seconds of my time.
In accordance with CFP protocols, which have not changed since the start of the playoffs, the committee investigates major injuries that may have affected the team’s performance during the season to distinguish between comparable teams. Although the wording is specific to injuries, CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said it was more appropriate to talk about the availability of players, as board members were also aware of suspensions or disqualifications.
The selection committee will continue to raise the issue of the player’s availability, as always in discussions, Hancock told ESPN Thursday night. There is still a lot of football this season and I have never had to discuss hypothetical situations. We wish Trevor Lawrence and all those involved in the health situation the best of luck.
Leaving Alabama and Ohio
Fault! The file name is not specified. Justin Fields and Ohio’s Buckies have emerged as the top ten and favourites to advance to the college playoffs. Scott Tech/Getty Pictures
Despite this week’s focus on Lawrence not playing, Alabama knocked out the Mississippi 41-0 for a week after losing their top player, receiver Jaylen Waddle, to a seasonal injury. That’s what makes Alabama so elitist. Crimson Tide not only lost someone, but also a player who can change the game on his own, and they didn’t miss a single step on Saturday.
Instead, DeVont Smith’s receiver pulled him out of four touchdowns. It was the dominant performance on both sides of the ball, and Tide remains the only unbeaten team in the SEC with one of the best wins in the country – in the 17th round of the season. October versus Georgia. The question for the Securities and Exchange Commission is whether Georgia can act as second plaintiff. To keep the scenario realistic, we would have to win in the East and then beat Alabama in the SEC title game.
After only two games, the Big Ten look like Ohio and all the others. The Nittany’s Lions are out of the game with two losses, Michigan suffered an embarrassing loss, and Wisconsin is at the epicenter of the COVID 19 flash that threatens Sabbath’s game against Purdue. The chance of two teams ending up in the top four has changed drastically in just two weeks.
Another result that could help Pac-12.