Conference Championship weekend is upon us, which means the nation’s top teams have one last chance to appeal to the college football playoff committee.
Here is what each team needs to happen for them to reach the playoff.
The Tigers simply need to take care of business and beat Virginia in the ACC Championship. With several potential one-loss teams on the table and the Tigers rather weak resume, Clemson can’t get in with anything less than a perfect 13-0 season.
The Buckeyes are a virtual lock to make the playoff if they take care of business against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship. If Ohio State is somehow upset by Wisconsin, then there is still a solid chance they claim the fourth spot due to their dominant performances and strong resume.
LSU is in the same position as Ohio State. If they win, they’ll be one of the top two seeds. A loss will force them into the fourth seed, but their ridiculous resume that includes wins over Auburn, Alabama, and Florida is more than enough to put them in the playoff.
The SEC Championship is a playoff game for Georgia. If they win, they’re in. If they lose, they will not reach the playoff. Their one loss to South Carolina is certainly bad, but one loss, and SEC title win over LSU, and multiple key regular-season wins is enough to put them in the playoff.
The Crimson Tide’s playoff hopes are likely already dead. I kept them on this list because of the committee’s high regard for them, but it is hard to see them getting in. Losses by Georgia, Utah, and Oklahoma keep Alabama’s playoff hopes alive, but it would be shocking if the committee puts them in.
I have grouped Oklahoma and Baylor together because they are in the exact same position. The two teams play each other in the Big 12 Championship. The winner of that game is going to need help from Oregon and LSU. The committee seems to like Utah and Georgia over whoever wins the Big 12, so those two teams are going to have to lose if the Big 12 wants to send a team to the playoff.
Utah needs to win the Pac 12 and needs LSU to beat Georgia. The Utes are a top tier football team and certainly a lot better than most of the country is giving them credit for, but Georgia’s resume is stronger is they win the SEC.