College Football Thoughts after a Wild Week 11 (2017)

If week 11 of the 2017 college football season had to be summed up in one word, I would say “wild”. It proved to be the most impactful of the season so far as well, as far as the playoff picture is concerned.

The biggest game of week 11 was undoubtedly undefeated #7 Miami vs. 1-loss #3 Notre Dame. The Hurricanes went off and dominated Notre Dame 41-8. With a victory like that, there’s no doubt an undefeated Miami deserves to be catapulted into the top 4. Why not #1, while we’re at it? Well… because other than an impressive victory over the Fighting Irish, the Hurricanes’ just simply haven’t played anyone. We’ll get back to Miami in a little bit.

Things aren’t looking good at all for the college kids out on the west coast. There isn’t a team in the Pac 12 that has lost fewer than 2 games this season, so it is looking very strongly like there will be any Pac 12 representatives in the college football playoff.

Let’s focus on the Big Ten now. The team from Madison, Wisconsin hasn’t done anything but win. But like Miami, and even more-so than Miami, the Badgers simply haven’t played anyone. Through 10 games, Wisconsin only faced one ranked opponent and that was against a #20 ranked Iowa Hawkeye team played in the comfort of Camp Randall Stadium. Make no mistake about it – if Wisconsin wins out, which would entail beating Michigan for a week 12 home game followed by a regular season finale road trip at laughable Minnesota ending with a victory over a probable Ohio State in the Big Ten title. However, don’t be surprised one bit if Wisconsin eliminates themselves from the College Football Playoff by losing to Michigan this coming Saturday then Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Speaking of Ohio State, if they were to win the Big Ten, they’d be a 2 loss Big Ten champion where one of their losses was a 15 point defeat to an impressive looking Oklahoma team in the 2nd week of the season. The Buckeyes’ other loss was a 31 point blowout that the Iowa Hawkeyes put on them in Iowa City. Which begs the question, would the committee let a 2 loss Ohio State in the playoff, pushing out more than likely a 1-loss conference champ Oklahoma or Clemson?

Next, the Big XII. The infamous “they don’t play defense” conference (can the SEC be the “they don’t play offense” conference?). Being that Oklahoma is the only 1-loss team followed by a handful of 2-loss teams and worse, it’s needless to say that the Sooners are the only hope of a Big XII team getting in the final four known as the college football playoff. So what would that entail for OU? Three more wins starting this weekend with a road trip to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the awful Jayhawks, followed by a regular season finale when the Sooners host West Virginia to celebrate Baker Mayfield and all of the other Sooner seniors. Then, a re-match at Jerry World in Arlington for the Big XII championship. Who will the Sooners take on for the title? More than likely it’ll be TCU, assuming they take care of business in their remanding 2 games. However if TCU were to stumble and lose against Texas Tech at Lubbock this weekend, then it could be Bedlam 2.0 for the Big XII title assuming Oklahoma State takes care of business in their remaining 2 games. Believe me when I say there is nothing the Cowboys would love to do more than not only win the Big XII championship, but also get revenge from a regular season loss to in state rival Oklahoma but also kill their playoff hopes. If you are a Sooner fan, just hope for 3 more wins, and you are in.

The college football playoff will definitely feature an ACC team, which will be the victor between Clemson and Miami (assuming they both win out). I really don’t know who to predict in the ACC championship game between these two, but I’m leaning more towards Clemson simply based on the fact that they’ve had a more difficult schedule this season although they did trip up to Syracuse, which is an absolutely horrible loss. Rest assured… Clemson or Miami is in.

Lets now switch gears to what I see as the most interesting conference when it comes to getting a team or teams in the college football playoff, the almighty love children of ESPN themselves… the almighty SEC. There is a few scenarios that could shake out. It’s set in stone that Georgia will be in the SEC championship game representing the east, but on the west side, it could be Alabama, but in my opinion, it will more than likely be Auburn, based on the eye test of this past week. Auburn has the best offense in the SEC, as proven by putting up 40 points on the #1 Georgia Bulldogs, giving UGA their first loss of the season. While they were on the road, Alabama struggled with Mississippi State and just appeared to look flat. So yeah… the Iron Bowl featuring Alabama vs. in-state rival Auburn proves to be a huge game. The winner will represent the SEC west in the conference title game opposite of Georgia. So if Alabama wins out, they are in, without a doubt. But lets visit a couple of other scenarios, shall we? If Alabama wins out but loses to Georgia in the SEC championship, you are looking at Alabama as a 1 loss team without a conference championship on their resume. Georgia would be a 1 loss team with an SEC title belt. Georgia is in, but would the playoff committee snub a 1-loss conference champion Oklahoma or Clemson to put a 1-loss non-conference champion in? We all know how the SEC is the darlings of college football. Another scenario. Say Auburn defeats Alabama (which I am predicting will happen) in the Iron Bowl, and then goes on to defeat Georgia in the SEC title game. The Tigers would be an SEC champion with 2 losses. Do they get in the playoff with 2 losses? Do they and Georgia get in? Or do they and Alabama get in? Or hell, the committee might as well just put Auburn, Alabama and Georgia in (I’m not being serious). If there is any conference that will have 2 teams in the playoff, you can bet it would be the SEC.

With all that being said, I’m going to make a prediction on what I believe will be the playoff committee’s decision on Tuesday November 14, 2017 will be after the wacky week 11 we had. I am then going to list 2 more playoff rankings. Firstly what I would vote for if I were in the playoff committee (being fair, based off of wins, losses, strength of schedule, etc.) and then a list of who I simply and truly believe are the best teams after week 11.

Dylan’s actual college football playoff rankings made by the playoff committee prediction after 11
1) Alabama
2) Miami
3) Clemson
4) Oklahoma
5) Wisconsin
6) Auburn

Dylan’s college football playoff rankings if he were on the committee himself
1) Alabama
2) Oklahoma
3) Miami
4) Clemson
5) Auburn
6) Wisconsin

Dylan’s rankings based on who he believes are the best teams after week 11, not taking records into consideration
1) Oklahoma
2) Auburn
3) Alabama
4) Miami
5) Clemson
6) Ohio State

Of course, there are a thousand different scenarios that could play out and week in and week out, there are teams that have no business losing to certain teams, losing to certain teams. Also as a disclaimer, for what it’s worth, I am a huge Sooner fan, and I openly admit that and realize there is some bias in my opinions, but I truly always do my very best to be as objective and non-biased as possible. I always try to call it like I see it and will always deliver my honest opinion.

How do you think the committee will vote on Tuesday? How would you vote if you were on the committee? Who do you believe are the best 6 teams in the nation after week 11?