I kept the hierarchy at the bottom because there are still 9 rows that are alive, and it looks like it is going to be spot on. The exception being the fact that Ohio St. might win Saturday and get left out because their starting QB is out for the season. There will be a lot of debate about whether this makes sense, but it does. If Ohio St. just barely gets by Wisconsin on Saturday it might be fair to say that without Barrett they are not one of the four best teams, despite what their resume says. This is why the committee was formed.
Assuming nothing crazy happens on Saturday Alabama, Oregon and Florida St. are in. The fourth and final spot will come down to Ohio St., Baylor and TCU (assuming all three win on Saturday). Ohio St. will have an extra win, and Baylor will have barely beat TCU in a head-to-head win. The committee won’t consider tiebreakers when it comes to conference champs so in their eyes both TCU and Baylor could be considered Big 12 champions, so there is no advantage there. TCU is probably the better team, but Ohio St. might actually be better than either of them with J.T. Barrett. But he is out, so that changes everything.
College football definitely got what they wanted, the last weekend of the season is very meaningful, and not just from a “win and you’re in” perspective.
The hierarchy works perfectly though for figuring out who controls their own destiny. Reading from top to bottom is pretty spot on. For example, for Arizona to get in, not only would they have to beat Oregon, they would need two of Florida St., Ohio St., Baylor and TCU to lose1.
The only place it gets murky is in the Ohio St./Baylor/TCU area. Ohio St. had the edge before Barrett went down. Baylor QB Bryce Petty has a concussion so who knows if he will even play. If one of the top three loses though, Ohio St. and one of TCU/Baylor would make the most sense.
If you are a Badger fan, Wisconsin would probably get in if they won and Baylor and TCU both lost.
If you want pure bedlam, there is a scenario where the playoff is Missouri, Arizona, Wisconsin and (maybe) Kansas St. How nuts is that?
|2||Undefeated Florida St.||FSU|
|3||1-loss SEC champion||Alabama|
|6||1-loss Pac 12 champ||Oregon|
|7||1-loss Big Ten champ||Ohio St.|
|9||2-loss SEC champ||Missouri|
|11||1-loss Big 12 champ||Baylor, TCU|
|12||2-loss Pac 12 champ||Arizona|
|15||2-loss Big Ten champ||Wisconsin|
|16||2-loss Big 12 champ||Baylor, TCU, Kansas St.|
- In this scenario whoever the SEC champ is would make it over Arizona [↩]