So You’re Saying
I’ve Got a Chance…
No week this season has played out better for the Big 12 than this past week. Not only did Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia all get wins, but the #2, #3, #4, #8, #9, #14 and #17 ranked teams in the College Football Playoffs all lost. Additionally, some made it difficult for others within their conference to get into the playoffs:
– With Clemson’s loss they will drop in the rankings, but Louisville cannot grow higher to them, because the Playoff Committee hates putting a team above the one that beat them, unless that team is Alabama or Ohio State. Additionally, the only way Louisville goes to the ACC championship game to play for the points that a champion receives is if Clemson loses to either Wake Forest or South Carolina.
– Auburn’s loss to Georgia means the Iron Bowl won’t be a play in game to the SEC Championship game. Alabama has the inside track, which means every other team in the SEC has no shot at a playoff berth.
– The Big Ten has a ton of playoff eligible teams, but they all work against each other. If Michigan beats Ohio State they are in the Big Ten Championship Game. However, assuming Penn State wins out against Rutgers and Michigan State, if Ohio State beats Michigan than Penn State would go to the Big Ten Championship Game. It is extremely difficult for Ohio State to actually make the game now due to this.
– The Pac 12 wasn’t getting a lot of love prior to this weekend, but with USC’s dismantling of the Huskies, their odds of making the playoffs became very slim.
Don’t under estimate the value of these bonus points they give to conference champions. They don’t show up until the last week of the year and can provide a large swing in the rankings. With the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac 12 champions now being in flux, the Big 12 Champion could sneak into the last spot if they win out the season. And, if they are going to sneak in, it will be in this order (rankings are last week’s College Football Poll Rankings):
#16 West Virginia –
Steadily climbing the College Football Playoff Rankings, the Mountaineers got a hard pressed victory against Texas in Austin that came down to a big stop at the end of the game. They are currently hovering just below the Top Fifteen, but they are the only Big 12 team left with only one loss. If they beat Oklahoma they’ll jump where they need to be to sneak into the playoffs with only Iowa State and Baylor left on the schedule.
Next Game: Oklahoma
#11 Oklahoma –
With an undefeated conference schedule so far, the Sooners have the inside track to win the Big 12 Championship this year, but have to travel to Morgantown before hosting the Cowboys for Bedlam. Those are two big games that will push Oklahoma higher in the rankings, but with two losses already they may need more help than West Virginia to sneak in, even with their giant brand
Next Game: @ West Virginia
#13 Oklahoma State –
Two weeks ago the Cowboys were ranked #22, now they are up to #13 and are knocking on the conference championship door. The loss to Central Michigan could haunt them, but the committee usually weights losses and with the crazy ending to that game the Cowboys could be hurt less than we imagine if they end strong. Having a win against West Virginia is a huge bonus for Oklahoma State, who still has two very tough games on the road against TCU and Oklahoma. If they win out, they’ll deserve the championship.
Next Game: @ TCU
Losing to the Sooners was bad enough, but losing Russel for the season, again, is going to hurt. With six wins the Bears are bowl bound, but how they end the season against KState, Tech, and WVU will go a long way to rebuild all the recruits they lost.
Next Game: Kansas State
The Frogs followed up putting a beat down on the Bears with a bye week. They need one more win to be bowl eligible and they could upset the Cowboys title hopes when they host them this week.
Next Game: Oklahoma State
Kansas State –
The Wildcats have the same record as the Horned Frogs, but TCU has shown more flashes of dominance that Kansas State has, which is how they fell a spot below them. The Wildcats only need one more win to be bowl eligible and host Kansas in two weeks, so that should be a given. Hosting the Bears this week could push them higher into the pecking order.
Next Game: Baylor
Tough loss at home to the Mountaineers this week, but only needs one more win to make it into the post season. Hosting the Jayhawks couldn’t have come at a better time.
Next Game: Kansas
It seems Tech comes into the season seeing ten wins then ends with six lately. Unfortunately for them they are in the position of having to win their next to games on the road in Ames and hosting Baylor at home on the day after Thanksgiving. Both are winnable, but there is no room for error.
Next Game: @ Iowa State
Iowa State –
Granted, it was Kansas, but the Cyclones finally finished a game and won on the road in the Big 12. You guys just enjoy that for a bit. Oh, then rest up your defense, Tech is coming to town.
Next Game: Texas Tech
They had the Cyclones down, but couldn’t put their foot on Iowa State’s neck to gain a much needed Big 12 win. With games against Texas and Kansas State remaining, it looks like being shut out of the season is entirely possible. I guess the silver lining is no one attends football games in Lawrence to feel bad about it.
Next Game: @ Texas
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