College Football Playoff Nightmare Scenario
With the college football season drawing near a close (I know, it feels like it just started), and the playoff committee releasing their official standings; the subject around college football lies solely on the top four teams in the country. With most teams only having a game or two left (and conference championships), I feel like this is a good time to break down the CFP Committee’s top 10 teams and break down what can go wrong to have the absolute most chaos going into bowl season.
- LSU 10-0
Games Remaining:vs. Arkansas, vs. Texas A&M, potential SEC Championship Game
The Tigers have been a sensational team this year, seemingly conquering all of their demons of the past. Finally slaying the dragon and beating an Alabama team in Tuscaloosa is no small feat, but for years they’ve been a great defense with a seemingly anemic offense. That all changed when Joe Burrow took a leap from college journeyman to future Heisman winner. He’s led this team all season with his arm and it’s tough to see this team slipping up with the way they’ve been playing. However, this isn’t supposed to be about who will win, we’re here to talk chaos, baby!
Joe Burrow could get hurt, and the LSU team could get on the wrong bus to their own stadium, they could probably pull 22 guys out of the stands that would be able to get them past Arkansas. Even with the stakes being set, I can’t take them to lose there. However, the final game of the season with the pressure of the SEC Title game on the line in a situation where they could probably lose and still be in the CFP, the Tigers choke and lose at home to Kellen Mond and Texas A&M. This would send them to the SEC title game with an 11-1 record.
Season Result: To be continued
Housekeeping: Arkansas 2-10, Texas A&M 9-3
- Ohio State 10-0
Games Remaining: vs. Penn State, @Michigan, potential Big 10 Championship Game
There was a lot of skepticism coming into the year about the Buckeyes on the back of Urban Meyer’s departure. But, Ryan Day has led one of the most dominant Ohio State teams in recent memory whom many have regarded as the best team in the nation not named LSU for most of the season. Yet, they own possibly the hardest last two games of any team in the country, let alone in the Top 10.
For our nightmare scenario here, I’m going to have James Franklin lead Penn State to a victory in the Horseshoe this weekend, and the Buckeyes then taking their frustrations out Michigan (or the School Up North for those Buckeye fans), to finish the season with the same record as Coach O’s Tigers at 11-1.
Season Result: To be continued
Housekeeping: Penn State (coming below), Michigan 9-3
- Clemson 11-0
Games Remaining: @ South Carolina, ACC Championship Game
I know this is just for fun and almost none of these “predictions” (again, this isn’t what I think is going to happen, just what I think could be the most interesting), are going to come true. But even in this fantasyland I can’t trust any ACC team to beat Clemson. I really went back and forth with finding a way they lay an egg against their in state rivals, but I just can’t. South Carolina will give them a bit of a game, but Clemson prevails and proceeds to roll whichever poor team (Virginia, VT, and Pitt all can still win) makes their way through the ACC Coastal division.
Congratulations to Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers on being the first lock of the Chaos Playoff.
Season Result: 13-0 (CFP 1 Seed)
Housekeeping: Doesn’t even apply here as none of the teams they’ll play have any chance to impact the playoff otherwise.
4. Georgia 9-1
Games Remaining: vs. Texas A&M, @Georgia Tech, potential SEC Champ. Game
So if you were paying close attention to my housekeeping section, you may have noticed that Texas A&M was 9-3. That wasn’t by mistake, that was because the crux of the chaos is Jimbo Fisher winning out and having his team beat both UGA and LSU to throw a wrench into this entire top 10! The Dawgs go on to beat Georgia Tech and finish the season at 10-2 and have the head to head tiebreaker over Florida to send them into the SEC Championship Game sponsored by Disappointment.
Season Result: to be continued
Housekeeping: A&M 9-3, GT 2-10, Florida 10-2 (lose H2H tiebreaker)
5. Alabama 9-1
Games Remaining: vs. Western Carolina, @Auburn, potential SEC Champ. Game
The Tide’s season took a potential bigger hit than their loss to LSU last week when Tua Tagovailoa went down with a just plain horrible injury. But, this is chaos, and Mac Jones is a more than capable backup. After only playing for a half against Western Carolina, the Bama starters are rested and take out their rivals in the Iron Bowl to finish the season with an 11-1 mark, but can’t quite get to the SEC title game due to their loss to LSU.
Season Result: to be continued
6 & 7: The PAC 12 Hopes and Dreams
Games Remaining: Oregon (@Arizona St., vs. Oregon State), Utah (@Arizona, vs. Colorado)
The power 5 conference deemed by many to not be power 5 quality all season is staring a potential showdown in the face for their championship game. And you know what? The Chaos Committee is going to give it to them. Oregon and Utah both win out to finish at 11-1 and take each other on for the Pac 12 crown. I was going to summarize what happens in the championship games and how everything plays out after going through the top 10, but I just can’t resist. Utah is the far less “name brand” program of the two since Oregon has been in the playoff before, has the flashy uniforms, and has established themselves pretty well in the past 15 or so years. They also have the more legitimate loss in a game they probably should have won against a good Auburn team early in the season. Therefore, Utah is winning the PAC 12 title, and therefore also punching a ticket into the college football playoff!
Congratulations to Kyle Whittingham and the Utes!
Season Results: Oregon 11-2, Utah 12-1 (PLAYOFF BOUND)
8 & 9: The B1G’s Nightmare
Games Remaining: Minnesota (@Northwestern, vs. Wisconsin), Penn State (@Ohio State, vs. Rutgers)
It’s going out of order, but since I touched on Penn State earlier it’s easiest to give their summary. These two teams met just a few weeks back with Minnesota securing one of their biggest wins in program history, knocking off then Number 4 Penn State in the Gopher’s Den (no idea if they refer to their home field as that, but they’re missing a big time opportunity if they don’t). Anyhow, Penn State knocks off Ohio State in Columbus, and returns to Happy Valley to lose to Rutgers.
Just seeing if anyone was still awake and or reading this.. Of course they don’t lose to Rutgers, Penn State finished 11-1 and owns the tiebreaker against the Buckeyes to punch their ticket to the B1G title game.
Minnesota beats Northwestern, and musters up the home field advantage and heart to take out the Badgers at home, also finishing 11-1 and setting up an epic rematch against Penn State! Guess what? The Gophers win again! PJ Fleck rows his boat all the way into the Chaos Playoff and, ladies and gentlemen we have our third team to punch their ticket.
Season Results: Penn State 11-2, Minnesota 12-1 (PLAYOFF BOUND)
10: Oklahoma (and the life of the Big 12) 9-1
Games Remaining: vs. TCU, @Oklahoma State
The Sooners are basically the Big 12’s last and only hope of getting a team into the Chaos Playoff, and honestly, I stared at this one for a little while. On one hand, having the one loss Sooners win out, would put them in a huge hodge-podge for our final playoff spot. But, on the other hand, it’s tough to imagine a one-loss conference champion not getting in. My next thought was that they win out and then lose in the Big 12 Title game.. That brings in a separate issue that Baylor would then be a one loss Power 5 Conference Champion, who avenged their only loss (assuming they win out, which my brain can’t process more potential teams, so they do). That would give Baylor the inside track of actually sneaking in the Chaos Playoff, but the Committee doesn’t like their resume. So I say all of that to say:
OU handles their business and beats TCU, but loses the Bedlam game to finish at 10-2 before beating Baylor in the Big 12 Title game that acts as a pseudo-Fiesta Bowl play in game.
Season Result: Lots of offense, little defense, Jalen Hurts can throw, 11-2, they beat Boise by 28 in their bowl game.
SO, we have gotten this far, what we know:
The playoff has three teams locked in!
What we’re now left with is 10-2 Georgia taking on 11-1 LSU in the SEC title game. Of course Georgia is going to win this one. Both teams move to 11-2 while Ohio State and Alabama have been sitting on their couches watching the madness unfold, finishing their seasons with only one loss apiece, but not even partaking in their respective championship games. Penn State, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Baylor are all 2 loss teams and by this logic eliminated from the Chaos Playoff. The committee couldn’t possibly put in a 1-loss team that didn’t play in their championship game could it?
It’s insane, and I’ve written this (way longer than I ever intended) to be a joke, and while it is, it isn’t impossible that the real CFP Committee could face a dilemma of this sort. In my opinion, Ohio State would have to get the last spot, only due to the Tua injury and just passing the overall eye test more so than any other team.
Thanks for reading along, lets see if the madness unfolds!