The Case for the Top 4
The #1 lock. The undefeated Tide have unsurprisingly secured the #1 spot for the 5th straight week in the CFP Poll and the 13th straight week in the AP Poll. At this point, nobody can take Alabama out of the #1 spot. Even a loss to Florida in the SEC championship would not move their position at the top of the rankings. Alabama does not seem to be going anywhere and it looks like we’ll be seeing them on New Year’s Eve playing whoever happens to become the 4 seed.
Bottom Line: Beat Florida. Or don’t. It really doesn’t matter
The Buckeyes remain #2 for a second straight week and have further solidified their spot in the top 2 with their statement win over #3 ranked Michigan in “The Game”. The Buckeyes will not be playing in the Big Ten Title game due to their head to head record vs. Penn State, so I do not see any reason that the committee could move Ohio State out of #2 spot much less the top 4. Ohio State seems to have a secure hold on the #2 spot especially since they have no chance to lose next week.
The Tigers have bounced back with two impressive wins over Wake Forest and South Carolina in the past two weeks. The Tigers control their own destiny in the coming week. If they can beat a good #23 ranked Virginia Tech team, they should secure their spot in the top 4. There’s not much to say about Clemson, they’re just in that middle ground.
Bottom Line: Win and you’re in. The only thing that matters is that W.
This is where it gets interesting. Washington has th #4 spot right now mostly due to their 1 loss record. This week, they desperately need a win vs. Colorado in the PAC-12 Championship game. Washington has had a lingering strength of schedule issue and in order to further secure the 4 spot, they need to win big against Colorado. This #4 spot is in jeopardy due to the shaky situation going on in the Big 10 championship game.
Bottom Line: Beat Colorado good. Hope for a Penn State loss.
How the out can get in
They need a Washington loss. They need a Washington loss bad. The committee has come out and said that the margin between Washington and Michigan is very minimal. Washington’s strength of schedule issue could be the benefit to the Wolverines. It will be a very interesting weekend for Michigan if Washington happens to lose.
Penn State Win. Beat Wisconsin and we have controversy. Can you really put a 2 loss Penn State team over a 2 loss Michigan team that beat Penn State earlier in the year? The committee has stated that they highly value conference championships and this could really help out the Nittany Lions. Penn State needs a solid win over the Badgers and they need either Washington or Clemson to lose.
Win. Beat Wisconsin and we have controversy. Can you really put a 2 loss Penn State team over a 2 loss Michigan team that beat Penn State earlier in the year? The committee has stated that they highly value conference championships and this could really help out the Nittany Lions. Penn State needs a solid win over the Badgers and they need either Washington or Clemson to lose.
Win and a couple losses. They need to beat Penn State and they need either Clemson or Washington to lose. They’re in virtually the same position as Penn State. We don’t know if you can put this 2 loss team ahead of Michigan (who they lost to) just because they won the Big 10 Championship. Wisconsin and Penn State are ultimately in the same boat here and the winner of this game will determine who has the best shot to take over the 4 spot barring a Clemson or Washington loss.
There’s not much hope for the Buffaloes. Their lack of strength of schedule will be the end of them. Either #6 or #7 has to win the Big 10 Championship, so there’s not much of a way for Colorado to overtake them.
#2 Ohio State
#4 Penn State
Stay tuned for our NJ Non-Public Group 4 State Championship Review