[quote=“NittanyIllini, post:8337, topic:1119”]I’m reminded every year of how people get so bent out of shape when the college football playoff rankings come out the first week of November. I always tell those people to come back and complain to me the 1st of December, when still nothing is decided.
So going off of this week’s rankings…
- Ohio State
- Michigan - need to lose to Ohio State for PSU to even sniff a playoff.
- Louisville - gone
- Washington - still has Wazzu in Apple Cup and Pac 12 title game in which to slip up.
- Penn State
I now have to believe that the winner of the Big Ten title game will get that fourth spot. If it all falls Penn State’s way, then I will wake up in my own bed on December 31st and get into my own car and drive the 15 minutes down to the Georgia Dome to see them play Alabama.
What was once just a pipe dream, is now looking more real by the day.
Like tjb noted…the fact that we’re still in the conversation on November 18th is just plain unbelievable.[/quote]
If all falls Penn State’s way, we could actually be the #2 seed. Believe it or not, if we win out, we’ll stack up quite favorably against either Ohio State or Clemson according to the selection committee’s criteria.
The selection committee’s protocol is fairly clear cut. It says “Strength of schedule, head-to-head competition and championships won must be specifically applied as tie-breakers between teams that look similar”.
The question that will have to be asked is “do Penn State, Ohio State, and Clemson look similar?”
If the answer is yes, then Ohio State slips to the back of the bus because they will not have won a championship and they will have failed the head-to-head competition with a loss to Penn State. That gives them the fourth seed and puts Penn State and Clemson up for the second seed.
Since they both will be conference champs, will have not played each other, and both will have lost to their one common opponent (Pitt), the tiebreaker could be strength of schedule.
Penn State will have played, and beaten, one of the other semifinalists, #2 Ohio State, so that will be a big feather in their cap.
Penn State’s other top opponents will have been #3 Michigan and #7 Wisconsin.
Clemson’s top opponents will have been #5 Louisville, #15 Auburn, #17 Florida St (neither Va Tech nor UNC, Clemson ACC championship opponent are ranked).
Louisville’s loss to Houston last night means that they are going to drop from #5. However, in order for PSU to win the B1G championship both Michigan and Wisconsin will be tagged with additional losses so they will drop too. The question is will they drop below Louisville, Auburn, and Florida State? My answer is probably not. So PSU could easily have three opponents all ranked higher than Clemson’s three best opponents. That could give the strength of schedule nod to Penn State over Clemson, thus giving them the #2 seed.
The key factor here will be does Penn State’s nine game season ending winning streak when compared to Ohio State’s five and Clemson’s three game winning streaks make up the difference for the one extra loss that they have? I’d say it’s definitely arguable that it does and that OSU, PSU, and Clemson should be considered teams “that look similar”.
Regardless of whether we top Clemson, if the selection committee follows their protocol, Ohio State is quite likely going to be the #4 seed.