Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Undefeated After Week 11

I didn't have time to write a Tuesday Top Ten today because I'm still digesting everything that has happened in the last seven days.  What an insane weekend in college football.  Five top ten teams lost.  #2 Clemson fell to Pitt at home, 43-42, on a last-second field goal.  #3 Michigan lost to Iowa in Iowa City, 14-13, on a last-second field goal.  #4 Washington was downed 26-13 at home by #20 USC.  #6 Texas A&M lost to Ole Miss at home, 29-28.  #9 Auburn was topped by Georgia, 13-7. If past week has proven anything, it's that nothing is sacred.

This creates chaos in the College Football Playoff rankings, as now only Alabama and Western Michigan remain undefeated, not that the Broncos have any realistic shot of making the College Football Playoff.  

Despite losing, Michigan and Clemson stayed in the CFP rankings, at #3 and #4, respectively.  Ohio State vaulted from #5 to #2 in the rankings, but due to Michigan's loss to Iowa, there is a very good chance the Buckeyes won't make it to the Big Ten Championship game.  If Ohio State and Penn State both win out, they would be tied atop the Big Ten East standings, but Penn State would win the tiebreaker due to their win over Ohio State earlier in the season.  On the other hand, if Michigan wins out (which would include a win over Ohio State), the Wolverines would win the Big Ten East based on their win over Penn State.  Basically, the only way Ohio State can go to the Big Ten Championship game is if the Buckeyes win their last two games, Michigan loses its last two games, and Penn State loses one of its last two games.  If OSU doesn't make it to its conference title game, can the College Football Playoff Committee actually put OSU in the playoff?

Of the remaining two undefeateds, Alabama has the tougher path, with a game against Auburn in the Iron Bowl looming in a couple Saturdays.  Western Michigan also still has a pretty tough game against Toledo a week from Friday.

Here the new Top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings (along with each team's best win and worst loss, where applicable):
1.  Alabama (10-0)
Best win:  #13 USC (9/3; 52-6)
Worst loss:  N/A
2.  Ohio State (9-1)
Best win:  at #7 Wisconsin (10/15; 30-23 (OT))
Worst loss:  at #8 Penn State (10/22; 24-21)
3.  Michigan (9-1)
Best win:  #7 Wisconsin (10/1; 14-7)
Worst loss: at Iowa (11/12; 14-13)
4.  Clemson (9-1)
Best win:  at #5 Louisville (10/1; 42-36)
Worst loss:  Pittsburgh (43-42; 11/12)

Here is a breakdown of the undefeated teams and each team's remaining games (rankings are College Football Playoff Committee rankings):

#1 Alabama 9-0
11/19 – Chattanooga (FCS) (8-2)
11/26 – #15 Auburn (7-3)
12/3 – SEC championship game (Atlanta) - TBD

Remaining opponents' combined record:  15-5 (.750)
Best win:  #13 USC (9/3; 52-6)

#21 Western Michigan 10-0
11/19 – Buffalo (2-8)
11/25 – Toledo (8-2)
12/2 – MAC championship game (Detroit) - TBD

Remaining opponents' combined record:  10-10 (.500)
Best win:  at Northwestern (9/3; 22-21)

No comments: