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Craziest Playoff Scenarios

+1 HS
buckeye_in_WI's picture
November 14, 2018 at 7:10am

When it comes to the CFP, most efforts are centered on trying to figure out what will happen, or what is most likely to happen. I wanted to think about the craziest outcomes that could still happen, and tried to rank them. Feel free to add to this list if you think of any more.

1. Alabama loses to Auburn, then loses to UGA: I'm putting this at 1 because it just feels impossible to think of this years CFP without Bama. They seem to be a lock even if they do lose 1 game. But imagine if they lost the last 2 games of the season, against 2 of the top 3 teams they've played all year? That would be a curveball no one saw coming. The ONLY time Nick Saban lost to a non-top 15 ranked Auburn was his inaugural year as coach of the crimson tide in 2007. But strange things have happened in the Iron bowl (cough cough 2013 cough).

2. An unranked team win a conference: this years conference championships are likely to have at least 1, if not multiple, unranked teams. ACC is looking like Clemson vs unranked Pitt. Pac 12 has #19 Utah penciled in, BIG has #22 NW; if either/both of them lose before Dec 1st they would certainly fall out of the ranking. Imagine if one of those unranked teams pulls off an upset; that would certainly shake things up (and add fuel to the fodder of those who are opposed to ever having playoff auto-bids for conference champions).

3. 1 loss ACC champ Clemson gets left out: in this scenario, Clemson loses to Duke or USCar, wins the ACC but that last W is not against a ranked team, and gets left out thanks to Bama/ND/scUM/OU winning out, or Bama losing to UGA but still making the playoff. A 1 loss Clemson has a pretty bad resume, as they may end the season with 0 wins over ranked teams. A loss to Duke or USC would be a big bad mark on their resume as well. Its not that unthinkable either: in both 2016 and 2017 Clemson lost to an unranked team. It is possible a 1 loss Clemson gets in over a 1 loss OU, but at the least its up in the air.

4. The SEC gets left out: OK, this is probably the craziest scenario of them all, but I moved it down just cause its also the most outlandish scenario. For this to happen, Bama would have to lose to Auburn then UGA. UGA would have to lose to either UMass or GTech then beat Bama. 3 losses in the last 2-3 weeks for 2 of the top 5 teams? Thats a stretch. However, as said above, anything goes in the Iron Bowl, and GTech has played UGA close in the recent past (GTech won in in 2016 and lost by 6 in 2015), so its not that unthinkable that one of those games ends in an upset. But both, then Bama losing to UGA? Yikes

5. Wash St makes the CFP: Adding this one in just cause we all seem to have eliminated the Pac12 from the playoff, but the Cougars could slide in still if pandemonium breaks out above them. I have to imagine they'd jump a 2 loss LSU if they win out. ND losing to Syracuse would be a big start for them, they'd need us to beat ttun and the Big12 to implode. Also having Bama run the table to make sure 2 SEC teams don't get in is a must. That would end the season something like 1. Bama 2. Clemson 3. Wash st/tOSU 4. tOSU/Wash st. Doesn't seem like it will play out that way, but it isn't that hard to imagine either.

6. UCF makes the playoff: just kidding, we all know this wont happen. Even if the committee retroactively awarded Bama 4 losses they'd still make the playoff over UCF. But hey, it doesn't matter, as long as UCF wins the rest of their games this year they can claim back to back national championships again! /s


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