This thought has been in the back of my mind for awhile, but two Vegas websites recently updated their odds of teams who could win the College Football Playoff, and had Oklahoma in it as the 9th best team to do as such.
Now, some chaos would ensue. Here is my breakdown of the eight teams ahead of the Sooners according to Vegas:
I do not think any body will knock off Alabama. I do not believe anyone in the country believes the Tide will lose during the regular season. Moving on from here.
2. Ohio State
The Buckeyes already have a win against Oklahoma, and should be able to end the season as Big 10 Champions regardless of a loss or not. Despite three Top Ten matchups and a trip to East Lansing luring, I do not foresee the Buckeyes losing more than a game. Their final regular season game against Michigan could be a College Football Playoff qualifier. Ohio State would be eliminated if and only if they get to two or three losses. Their schedule is one of the toughest in the country.
Dabo, Venables, and Deshaun have it rolling again in Death Valley. With only two more games slated against ranked opponents (including the ACC Championship Game), it is apparent that the Tigers could be a shoe-in into the College Football Playoff. Even a one-loss Clemson Tigers team is getting into the Playoff if they win the ACC or make it to the ACC Championship Game.
A team that has been, but hasn’t been tested so far. The fighting Chris Peterson’s are one of my College Football Playoff picks, but with a road game ahead in Salt Lake City, you may see Washington slide down a few spots. Will the new pressure of the Playoff get to Washington? Time will tell, but this is a team that must stay its course in order to make the Playoff.
A one-loss Wolverine team gets in the playoff as of right now. With only one currently ranked team remaining on their schedule, it looks like Michigan will know its fate before heading to Columbus. If the Wolverines lose to the Buckeyes, and Ohio State wins the Big 10, Michigan will make it in. One of the two must win the Big 10 for the other to get in with one loss, however.
Louisville had one of the best losses in recent history. The Cardinals’ margin of error is very small now, but a one-loss Louisville team is likely knocking on the door of the Playoff. With a road game against Houston set for November 17th, the Cardinals will have to remain on their course until then. One slip-up, and Louisville will be knocked out due to a lack of a strong out-of-conference schedule.
7. Texas A&M
The Aggies have been the surprise of 2016 to this point. Kevin Sumlin and Trevor Knight have GigEm 6-0 and a chance to knock off Alabama next week. If the Aggies can survive the regular season undefeated, they will make a strong case to get in the Playoff. Two losses and they are defeated. They will host Alabama (#1), Ole Miss (#12), and LSU as their toughest games the rest of the season.
The Vols were handed their first loss of the season last week in College Station. A chance at a mulligan is ahead of them this week when the Tide come to Knoxville. I do not see the Vols surviving this game, which would knock them out of contention. If they do find a way to beat Alabama, the rest of their schedule would be a cake walk. They would have to win the SEC Championship Game to make it in, however. Two losses, and the Vols can go ahead and plan their trip to New Orleans or Dallas.
The scenarios that must play out for Oklahoma to get into the College Football Playoff
- Win out.
- Washington, Michigan, Louisville, and Texas A&M with two losses.
- Ohio State, Houston, Baylor, and West Virginia remain in Top 25.
Even with two losses, Oklahoma’s playoff picture is not dead. Oddly enough, if the Sooners win out and get to 10-2, their résumé still looks good with the quality of out-of-conference games they played, and a conference title. This is solely against other 10-2 teams that do not have a conference title or great out-of-confrence games.
Vegas is keeping Oklahoma in the hunt, and so should you. Some chaos must happen, but not a dumpster fire for Oklahoma to get in the playoff.