It’s College Football Championship Weekend and my chaos theory is alive and well.  There are so many ways the CFP final rankings could go and it all depends on what happens this weekend.  Lets break it all down for you shall we?

Where FBS stands as it enters conference championship weekend:

With conference championship games remaining, Georgia, Michigan and TCU all control their own destiny to the College Football Playoff as undefeated teams. However, that final spot is up for grabs between USC, Ohio State and Alabama.

Despite losing to Michigan on Saturday, Ohio State still has the fourth-best chance to reach the Playoff according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor.

Best Chance to Reach College Football Playoff:

Georgia 99.8%
Michigan 98.7%
TCU 89.6%
Ohio State 70.6%
USC 19.8%
Alabama 16.3%

Many are asking why does the Allstate Playoff Predictor believe Ohio State has such a strong (71%) chance to reach the College Football Playoff, despite losing to Michigan?  Here is one explanation:

There are essentially two spots for three teams: TCU, USC and Ohio State. Neither TCU nor USC is guaranteed a victory next week, and in fact USC is an underdog. There is a 79% chance that at least one of TCU or USC lose, according to FPI. If either – particularly USC – loses, that gives Ohio State a very good chance to get into the CFP. Heading into conference championship weekend, that is a big reason – but not the only reason – why the Predictor is bullish on the Buckeyes.

USC and Ohio State are both one-loss teams, and USC only lost by one point while Ohio State lost by 22. So why is Ohio State so much better in terms of efficiency and FPI? Two reasons:

  1. Four of USC’s wins have been in one-score games, while all of Ohio State’s wins were by multiple scores.
  2. Ohio State has played a more difficult schedule (currently 34th-most difficult to USC’s 57th)

ESPN’s CFB Senior Writer Heather Dinich also had some great takes on this subject.  The bottom line is my(Pete’s) chaos theory is finally in full force, especially if both USC and TCU lose their respective conference championship games.

  • More College Football Playoff Chaos Fun Facts

    Isn’t it as simple as: a one-loss conference champion should be in?

    The entire reason there is a selection committee in the first place is because not all wins and not all losses in college football are equal given the vast disparity in skill level of opponents. Because USC played a softer schedule, it is easier to achieve one-loss against it. Strength of Record is able to reconcile differences in both record and schedule.

    However, USC has three wins against teams currently ranked in the Playoff Committee rankings and could pick up another with a win over Utah in the Pac-12 championship game. No other school has more than two wins against the current Playoff Top 25.

  • Alabama Is Still Alive!

    Alabama’s path to the Playoff is extremely narrow, especially if it is behind Ohio State in Tuesday’s Playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide’s best path to the Playoff is Michigan winning the Big Ten while TCU and USC lose their conference championship games; even then Alabama’s chance to reach the Playoff is only 27%.

  • CFB Conference Championship Betting Fun Facts

    With big spreads in the SEC and Big Ten championship games … only six teams have won a conference championship game as an underdog of two or more touchdowns:

    Texas +20.5 vs Nebraska, 1996 Big 12
    Miami (OH) +17.5 vs Northern Illinois, 2010 MAC
    Texas A&M +17.5 vs Kansas State, 1998 Big 12
    Buffalo +15.5 vs Northern Illinois, 2008 MAC
    Kansas State +14 vs Oklahoma, 2003 Big 12
    Florida State +14 vs Virginia tech, 2005 ACC

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