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    Maybe. But seriously, their path is easier than it looks. Here’s how things are definitely* going to go down.

    The Path Forward

    Out of the two, my Buckeyes have the easiest path to the CFP, even after getting shellacked by Michigan (man, even writing that makes my blood boil). They’re still ahead of Michigan in ESPN’s Power Index (behind Alabama, ironically), they boast quality wins against Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Penn State, and could easily sneak in if a couple of things bounce their way. The easiest scenario for them would be as follows:

    • USC loses in the Pac 12 Championship
    • TCU loses in the Big 12 Championship

    Simple enough, right? They don’t really need Michigan to lose in the Big Ten Championship game, although it would help. Georgia losing would have no effect on them making it or not, all it would do would potentially knock Georgia down to a 2 or 3 seed and move someone else up. So the formula is a TCU and USC loss. USC is playing incredibly well right now, so it would be tough, but Utah is a very good team, one that is no stranger to playing spoiler.

    AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

    Alabama, on the other hand, needs a little more help. Their scenario is as follows:

    • USC loses in the Pac 12 Championship
    • TCU loses CONVINCINGLY in the Big 12 Championship

    The key in Alabama’s scenario is the Big 12 Championship. If TCU gets blown out and fails the ‘eye test’, there is a good shot that the SEC bias is going to take hold of the committee, and Alabama with two losses to quality SEC teams can sneak ahead of TCU with a bad loss to an inferior Big 12 team. I’m not saying this is 100% how the committee would react, but we’ve seen it before with the SEC.

    Saban after battling through the Committee for a spot in the CFP

    The playoff would then be as follows:

    1 Georgia vs. 4 Alabama

    2 Michigan vs. 3 Ohio State

    Crazier things have happened. We’re talking about college football here! I do think it would be exciting for USC to re-enter the heavyweight bracket and start competing for championships again, but I do sincerely believe these are the four best teams in college football. Alabama could beat any of these squads on their best day, Georgia is still Georgia, we saw what Michigan did to Ohio State, and the Buckeyes have the championship pedigree to rebound from that loss and beat any team in the nation. All eyes are now on Championship Weekend.

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    About Author

    Matt K

    Matt is the Social Media Manager at RYP and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has experience managing social media accounts with agencies, small brands, and large companies. He’s a diehard New England sports fanatic, and if he’s not watching the Celtics, he can be found roaming around Boston discovering all that the city has to offer.

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