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Possible Scenarios That Can Change the Landscape of the CFB Playoff

Anything is possible in college football. And, with the college football playoff just around the corner, teams will look to make their push into the playoff and other teams will look to ruin the teams at the top. Here we will look at some of the possible situations (Some very unlikely) that can shake everything up and change the entire landscape of the playoff, as well as my projected winners of each theoretical playoff.

In all of these situations assume the teams currently in the top 4 win out and remain in the top 4.

Alabama & Mississippi State Fall out/ Georgia & TCU Jump in

Alabama’s only guaranteed game left is the Iron Bowl against rival Auburn. Auburn has been tumbling rapidly as of late so a loss to them would definitely do in Alabama and eliminate them from the playoff. But even if the do make it past Auburn, they will still have to face either Missouri or Georgia in the SEC Championship game. In this theoretical situation I have Georgia winning the SEC East and beating Alabama for the SEC title.

Even without Todd Gurley, Georgia’s offense has the capability with one of the best freshman running backs in recent history in Nick Chubb. Georgia then jumps into the playoff conversation, having wins against 2 ranked opponents (assuming they beat Georgia Tech) 2 weeks in a row. Georgia then moves all the way up to 3. For the hell of it, let’s say Mississippi State loses to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, eliminating them from the playoff. TCU then jumps to 4.

The Playoff would then be:

1. Oregon

2. FSU

3. Georgia

4. TCU

Oregon vs. TCU: Oregon Wins

FSU vs. Georgia: FSU Wins

Championship: Oregon vs. FSU: Oregon Wins


Oregon, Alabama, & Mississippi Fall Out/ TCU, UCLA, & Ohio State Jump in

Oregon easily takes care of Colorado and Oregon State. Crazy things would need to happen to them to lose either of those matchups. UCLA beats Stanford and moves on to the PAC-12 Championship and takes on Oregon. This will be a great game, no matter the outcome. Both teams have been heating up lately and neither wants to cool down. This game would go back and forth, but UCLA would eventually prevail.

UCLA would then be a 2-loss conference champion and would need help from another higher team to lose in their conference championship in order jump a 1-loss conference champion. Let’s say that team is Mississippi State, meaning Alabama lost in the Iron Bowl and didn’t make it to the SEC Championship. Mississippi State loses to Missouri in the SEC Championship, eliminating them from the Playoff. The Playoff would now have no SEC teams, and UCLA and TCU would jump in, along with Ohio State from the open spot Oregon losing made.

The Playoff would then be:

1. FSU

2. TCU


4. Ohio State

FSU vs. Ohio State: FSU Wins


Championship: FSU vs. UCLA: FSU Wins


FSU Falls Out/ Georgia Tech Jumps in

FSU has two tough games ahead of them. Although they are undefeated, they have hit some rough patches this season. They will take on the Gators in Will Muschamp’s Final Stand. Muschamp’s boys will be ready for the tough task and they will fight their hardest for Will to go out singing. The latter of their two remaining games is where it gets interesting, against Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech takes on rival Georgia this week. Let’s say they win that game. Tech would be pretty hot coming off of a win against a quality top ten opponent in Georgia and would be ready for FSU. Tech has one of the best rushing games in the country averaging 327.9 rushing ypg while putting up 37.8 ppg, 4th and 14th in the nation respectively. FSU has struggled against the run lately so that could give them fits. Georgia Tech wins this game by running the ball down FSU’s throat. FSU then drops out and Georgia Tech could jump in.

The Playoff would then be:

1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Mississippi State

4. Georgia Tech

Alabama vs. Georgia Tech: Alabama Wins

Oregon vs. Mississippi State: Mississippi State Wins

Championship: Alabama vs. Mississippi State: Mississippi State Wins

The Craziest Scenario

(Photo by David Stluka)
(Photo by David Stluka)

As we know, anything is possible but very unlikely.

For this situation the stars would have to align for even a remote chance at this. Alabama loses to Auburn and Mississippi State goes onto the SEC Championship and loses. Both teams should be out, but given other teams loses in this situation they could stay in the hunt.

Oregon beats Colorado & Oregon State but loses to UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship; they get eliminated and UCLA wins the Pac-12. FSU beats UF, but loses to Georgia Tech; so they’re out. Tech loses to Georgia the week before so no possibility of them making it. Missouri wins the SEC East, eliminating Georgia of the chance to face Mississippi State in the SEC Championship. Georgia’s got no shot now. TCU and Baylor both win out and both jump into the playoff. The lack of a Big-12 Championship game helps both teams in this scenario because neither could afford another loss. Ohio State and Wisconsin win out and face each other in the Big-10 Championship; Wisconsin wins that battle and the Big-10 crown. So we have three 1-loss teams left in the conversation: TCU, Baylor, & FSU. TCU & Baylor make it, but does FSU deserve it after losing to a lesser opponent in Georgia Tech? Out of all the remaining 2-loss teams with quality résumés, (Alabama, Oregon, Mississippi State, Ohio State, UCLA, Wisconsin) who gets the nod? FSU doesn’t make it. Wisconsin and UCLA secure the final 2 spots for winning their conferences against quality opponents.

The Playoff would then be:

1. TCU


3. Baylor

4. Wisconsin

TCU vs. Wisconsin: Melvin Gordon proves too much of a test for the TCU defense. Wisconsin wins (and Melvin Gordon wins the Heisman)

UCLA vs. Baylor: Baylor’s passing attack is too great for UCLA; Baylor Wins

Championship: Wisconsin vs. Baylor: Melvin Gordon wins this game for Wisconsin; the Badgers crowned champions


If you have any other absurd situations that you have come up with please comment them, we’d love to hear them!



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