Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Undefeated After Week 13

Once again, the only two undefeated teams won their games.  #1 Alabama beat arch rival #13 Auburn in the Iron Bowl, 30-12, while #21 Western Michigan won its eleventh game in a row by at least two touchdowns, topping Toledo 55-35.  Both teams play in their respective conference championship games this weekend.

Western Michigan's MAC Championship game takes on some added importance for getting a New Years Six bowl bid.  As I've previously noted, the non-Power-Five conference champion ranked highest in the College Football Playoff gets a berth in a New Years Six bowl, specifically the Cotton Bowl.  Western Michigan is ranked #17 in the new CFP rankings, while Navy is ranked #19.  This could end up being a huge deal because, if Navy beats Temple this weekend in the AAC Championship game and leapfrogs Western Michigan in the CFP rankings, the Cotton Bowl berth may have to wait until after Navy plays Army next weekend.  If Navy ends up ranked higher than Western Michigan in the final CFP rankings, the Midshipmen would go to the Cotton Bowl over the Broncos.  This scenario would basically end up causing a disastrous logjam in the bowl system because the non-New Years Six bowls, particularly those involving the MAC and the AAC, would have to wait an additional week before handing out bids, while they waited to see if Navy or Western Michigan earns the Cotton Bowl bid.  In my opinion, if Western Michigan wins this Saturday to go 13-0, they should get the Cotton Bowl berth regardless of what Navy does.  Then again, I'm not on the CFP Committee.  Yet.

The Top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings had some slight changes, thanks to Ohio State's win over Michigan.  Here are the top four (along with each team's best win and worst loss, where applicable):
1.  Alabama (12-0)
Best win:  #11 USC (9/3; 52-6)
Worst loss:  N/A
2.  Ohio State (11-1)
Best win:  #5 Michigan (11/19; 30-27 (2OT))
Worst loss:  at #7 Penn State (10/22; 24-21)
3.  Clemson (11-1)
Best win:  at #12 Florida State (10/29; 37-34)
Worst loss:  #25 Pittsburgh (43-42; 11/12)
4.  Washington (11-1)
Best win:  #18 Stanford (9/30; 44-6)

Worst loss: #11 USC (11/12; 26-13)

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

#1 Alabama 12-0
Remaining game:
12/3 (3 p.m. ET; CBS) – SEC championship game (Atlanta) vs. #15 Florida (8-3) 

#17 Western Michigan 12-0
Remaining game:
12/2 (6 p.m. ET; ESPN2) – MAC championship game (Detroit) vs. Ohio (8-4)

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