We are getting closer to the Playoff! Tuesday night the rankings came out on a shortened show on ESPN (college basketball is back!) The first point that was made, which oddly enough my co-worker made a point about earlier Tuesday afternoon, was that Michigan is currently dealing with Coronavirus issues. This means that if they continue, they could cancel the game against Ohio State. The reason this is monumental is that, the Big Ten stated that: In order to be eligible for the Big Ten title game, teams must play at least 6 conferences games unless the league average of games played drops below 6. Ohio State must play every single game remaining in order to have 6 games played. At this time, it does not look as if the league average is below 6 either. Meaning, long story short, Michigan could not only keep Ohio State out of the Big Ten Championship game, but also out of the College Football Playoff entirely. Some may view this as a rivalry move from Michigan and them taking the cowards approach, and I laughed when I initially thought about that because who doesn’t want to stick it to a rival. However, I do not believe this is the case and neither did the guys on ESPN. The only reason this game would be canceled is if Michigan was seeing a constant surge in positive cases. Also, if any team was proven to dodge games without the virus being the reason, that is truly a low point for that team as Rece Davis mentioned.
Gary Barta returned and repeated the same statement in regards to BYU, which gives us a clear understanding of what the committee is valuing this year. Schedule and the eye test. Barta explained again that even though BYU may pass the eye test, that their schedule is unfortunately not compatable with the schedules of those in the Power 5. Fortunately for BYU, Liberty (next opponent for Coastal Carolina) saw a surge in Coronavirus cases, and has been selected as the new opponent for Coastal Carolina. This means that College Gameday will be at BYU vs. Coastal Carolina, and one final opportunity for the Cougars to perhaps make a jump in the rankings.
Iowa State saw a meaningful jump after defeating Texas to put themselves on the cusp of a Big 12 Title game appearance. The big question will be: Should Alabama and Notre Dame win their conference title games, what is viewed as the strongest resume: Texas A&M (no conference title game), undefeated AAC Champion Cincinnati, or the first two loss team, but Big 12 Champion Iowa State. This assumes, of course, that Michigan and Ohio St. does not happen, which I do not believe it will at this time.
The final discussion of the night involved the Top 3 plus Florida. The question? Should Clemson and Florida win their title games and the scores are close, should the SEC and ACC get two teams in to the CFP? That means the Top 4 would be Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Florida in some order. I can see this happening, and I believe it is the best bet to happen if you were to place a bet on what will happen in the CFP. Clemson is good enough to compete with Notre Dame and the way Kyle Trask is playing and the receivers he finally has around him, make Florida a threat to Alabama. A good value bet would be on Cincinnati or Ohio State (despite what we just mentioned) as well.
We are getting down to the wire in terms of games as the ACC announced Notre Dame and Clemson will not play the one game they each had postponed. This means Notre Dame is in the ACC Championship game and will play either Clemson (should they beat Virginia Tech) or Miami if they win out. There is still some football to be played, and this will sort itself out. Keep an eye on the Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game this weekend, Ohio State vs. Michigan St., Texas A&M vs. Auburn (this will prove whether or not the Aggies can avoid the choke), and BYU vs. Coastal Carolina. These are the games with the most impact potential on the CFP rankings for this week.
As a safe bet, I would look for at least one upset this week in the Top 10 even with the possibility of West Virginia turing the Big 12 upside down with a win over Iowa State.
Good luck this week with your bets and enjoy the games!
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