One of the most widely-held beliefs surrounding this year’s College Football Playoff race is that an undefeated Notre Dame team is guaranteed a spot in the elusive final four spots come December.
Let’s not forget the committee’s ultimate goal is to select the best four teams in the nation for the playoff – not the most-deserving four teams in the nation.
Alabama, Georgia and the Two-Team SEC Dilemma:
Unless Alabama loses to LSU by 40+ points in Baton Rouge this Saturday, it’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario that doesn’t end with the Crimson Tide in one of the four playoff spots. Alabama is strikingly more dominant than it was last season, and the committee still gave the 2017-18 team the nod for the No. 4 spot after the Crimson Tide failed to even win their own division of the SEC conference.
Top Defense’s in holding foes in ypg below their season average.
1. MIchigan 217.5
2 Clemson 175.9
3 Iowa St ! 148.3
4 Alabama 144.9
5 Iowa 144.2
6 Miami Fla 141.3
7 Miss St 127.6
8 Kentucky 124.3
9 Fresno St 113.6
10 Army 112.4
11 Washington 110.8https://t.co/tOOFcbPp1o
— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) November 1, 2018
Clemson and the ACC:
If the SEC delivers two teams, you then need to turn your attention to the Clemson Tigers. Clemson has the easiest path to an undefeated ACC champion finish among all current Power-Five teams, so this one is pretty simple. If the Tigers go 13-0 and win the ACC, they’re in.
Oklahoma as a Big 12 Dark Horse:
While the Oklahoma Sooners’ playoff hype has died down since losing to Texas on a last-second field goal in the Red River Rivalry back in Week 5, Oklahoma is still in the hunt. Though the Sooners need some help from Texas, with a win over West Virginia this weekend, if Oklahoma can run the table and beat WVU on the road in Week 13 they’re half way there. The Longhorns would need to win out as well leading to a rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game, which would put the Sooners are in a prime situation to then make the playoff.
Kyler Murray beating Tua in every statistical QB category, yet all you hear is Tua is a lock for the #Heisman
— FSUeyedoc (@FSUeyedoc) November 1, 2018
If their only loss of the season comes from a solid Texas team, and Oklahoma defeats them in convincing fashion in a rematch, the Sooners should be on the forefront of consideration for one of the four bids.
Michigan and the Big Ten:
Finally, we have the Big Ten dilemma. Ohio State’s loss at Purdue is a similarly-damning loss to the way the Buckeyes were beaten by Iowa last season, which means the Big Ten berth effectively rests on Michigan. If Michigan wins out with a win over a one-loss Ohio State team on the road in Columbus and then go on to defeat a two-loss and streaking Iowa Hawkeyes team in the Big Ten Championship, they’re in too.
Here’s something that Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia and Oklahoma all have in common: they’re ranked No. 1-5 respectively in current strength of schedule (SOS) by S&P+Résumé rankings. Meanwhile, Notre Dame (No. 17 SOS) sits next to Appalachian State (No. 18) and Purdue (No. 19). Funny you don’t hear much of an argument for the playoff caliber of either of those two teams.
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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.