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College Football Playoffs Breakdown

What happens if Clemson loses? What happens if Alabama loses? Is Oklahoma a lock? These questions and more are explained here in this article preparing you for Championship weekend in college football.

I recently read an article on ESPN explaining the scenarios and thought they were a little rough to say the least. I have mapped out the scenarios and given you what you need to know for this final weekend of college games before Bowl season starts and the Final Four are announced. Let’s Dive In!


Who are the contenders? (Current AP Ranking)

#1 Clemson

#2 Alabama

#3 Oklahoma

#4 Iowa

#5 Michigan State

#6 Ohio State

#7 Stanford

#8 UNC


Eight are left in the bidding for the sought after Final Four of College Football Playoffs. Here is the basic information for what is needed for each team to be in the playoffs:


#1 Clemson, #2 Alabama

Pretty simple, Win and you are in; Lose, and you are out.


#3 Oklahoma

They are a lock. They won the outright BIG12 championship and the committee will give them the green light to be in. The question will be what position they in at the end of the day. They could be anywhere from the #1 seed if crazy things happen to the #4 seed if teams that should win win, or anywhere in between.


#4 Iowa or #5 Michigan State

Whoever wins the BIG10 Championship is easily in the Final Four. Whoever loses is going to a premier Bowl game and left out of the college football playoff. I think the winner of this game gets the higher seed in the playoff system over Oklahoma because they actually played in a championship game.


#6 Ohio State

I think they have the best chance outside the Top 5 simply because I believe they only need one thing to happen. Iowa and Michigan State play each other and one will lose and not be in contention anymore, automatically moving Ohio State up to #5. If Michigan State wins, this boosts Ohio State’s resume because their only loss would be to the eventual Big10 champion by 3 points on a last-second field goal. If Clemson then loses to North Carolina, Ohio State would be in competition with UNC for that final spot. UNC lost to a 3-9 South Carolina team while Ohio State’s loss came from a Top 4 team in the country. You have to believe that the committee would give the upper hand to the defending National Champion who just blew out the #10 team in the country, Michigan, this past weekend on the road in a rivalry game.. Also, the BIG10 conference is much stronger than the ACC. If by some act of crazy football and Alabama loses while Clemson still wins, Ohio State is easily the #4 team. They also have six BIG10 teams in Top 25 rankings, the most of any conference proving the BIG10 to be the strongest conference.


#7 Stanford

They have to blow out USC in the PAC-12 Championship, have Clemson and Alabama lose in their respective title games to have a shot. They have two losses and I can’t see the committee giving a two-loss team a jump over two one loss teams in Ohio State or UNC for that final spot. They lost to an unranked Northwestern team at the start of the season which is forgivable (see Ohio State last season with VT loss) but the home loss to Oregon is a hard one to swallow. They easily need the top 2 teams to lose this weekend to have any kind of shot.


#8 North Carolina

They have to beat Clemson convincingly and hope the committee sees them as a stronger candidate than Ohio State for the #4 spot. Ohio State lost the first game of the season last year to Virginia Tech and made the playoffs after winning their conference championship. The difference is that UNC’s loss is to a 3-9 South Carolina team while Virginia Tech finished out 2014 with a bowl eligible 6-6 record. Strength of Schedule will also play a part and a number of convincing wins plays a part where Ohio State has a big advantage.

Here are 8 possible scenarios…

About Dan Collins

I have always been an avid football enthusiast. The NFL Draft and Fantasy Football is my passion in the realm of football. I write Mock Drafts and inform readers of what is happening during the critical stages of the NFL Draft. I spend way too much time working through Fantasy Football analysis, situations, and thoughts; it is an issue. Follow on Twitter @Dan_R_Collins for Football info and the occasional joke or wisecrack.