Championship Saturday is coming up, the penultimate rankings have passed and the College Football Playoff is almost upon us. Much like last the last three years, fans of every team are making their case for why their team should be given a shot at the National Championship. And in what has become the annual tradition in NCAA football, we are all wondering whether or not Ohio State will get that 4 seed. Because championship Saturday and selection Sunday are separated by barely 12 hours, this article will make each team’s best case for a playoff berth if the favorites (meaning: Wisconsin, Clemson, Oklahoma and Auburn) win out.
A Really Strong Resumé
1 loss conference champion Clemson is a no-brainer 1 seed here. If Clemson wins out they will achieve 10 FPI top 40 wins, 5 ranked wins away from home and a victory against the #2 team in the country. Barring an embarrassing loss to Syracuse, Clemson has achieved a lot this season, and is very deserving of the number 1 seed.
The Eye Test
Auburn’s case to get in is very simple, they are playing the best football in the country right now. They dominated Alabama a week ago, which is not a sentence you often here when reading about college football, and they dismantled Georgia just two weeks prior to that. In the Playoff era no team has ever beaten two number 1 seeds, until Auburn. Jarett Stidham is playing efficiently and Kerryon Johnson is a possible Heisman candidate, not to mention their defense, which ranks 11th in the nation. Auburn is simply playing better than everyone else.
The Nation’s Best Offense
Oklahoma ranks 1st in total offense this season, and it’s no surprise why. Baker Mayfield has thrown for over 4,000 yards and is the leader for the Heisman trophy, combine that air attack with a powerful run game, and you create an offense that any defense would have trouble stopping.
The Most Deserving Team
No, Wisconsin isn’t going to win the playoff. In fact they aren’t favored over any team in the top ten except Penn State and Southern Cal, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get in. As Clemson proved last year and Miami proved this year, it is very hard to go undefeated in College Football. Wisconsin has played a very easy schedule, yes, but they are undefeated and should be compensated accordingly.
They’re Still the Favorites
Despite losing to Auburn last week, Las Vegas odds still have Alabama favored against every team in college football. Alabama hasn’t played a very rigorous schedule this year, to no fault of their own, but if they make the playoff they probably have a better shot at winning it than teams like Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Alabama is going to need some help Saturday to get in, a position they don’t normally find themselves in. No, Bama isn’t as good this year as they’ve been in years past. If they get in they’ll probably win, but the question remains, do they really deserve a birth at this point?
They Might Beat Auburn
Georgia is in if they win and out if they lose, it’s as simple as that. The Bulldogs were once the top team in the country, in fact David Pollack even said back in week 9 that he thought “the gap between Georgia and everyone else is widening”. Isn’t amazing how one game can change so much. Georgia has passed the eye test many times, and they did have a very bad loss to Auburn but they have a great shop at redemption on Saturday.
The U is Back
Miami is the best they’ve been in 15 years this season. Their swagger of old is back, and when the Canes get going with a couple turnovers and two quick scores… no team in the country can stop them. Mark Richt is a proven coach and Miami is poised for a title run, they just have to get past Clemson.
At this point Ohio State’s biggest question mark isn’t who’s going to be starting under center saturday, it’s why they’re even in discussion for a birth. This team has suffered the worst loss of anyone vying for a playoff spot, yes they’ve looked good at times but you can’t overlook what happened in Iowa. The committees first big mistake came last year when Ohio State made the playoff and was blown out 31-0 by Clemson. They were undeserving of that spot and they’re undeserving of this one now. OSU’s best argument is that Urban Meyer has proven he can beat Saban, Harbaugh, Richt, and countless other phenomenal head coaches. Urban gives them the best chance to win (unless he has to play Clemson). His pedigree alone is the only reason Ohio State deserves a shot.