“We’ll still beat Michigan,” said everyone, following the Penn State loss. “This loss changes nothing,” said everyone, following the Penn State loss.
Well, here we are, two games away from the end of the regular season, realizing that loss changed
After the blocked extra point, punt, and field goal attempt, I think we can all logically conclude that if we played Penn State one hundred more times, that would probably never happen again. Those stupid flukes may have cost us a trip to the Big Ten championship game, and given the opportunity to Penn State.
I know, it’s not fair. We are the only half decent team that Penn State has beaten (or even played, other than TTUN, who beat them by
39!!!). And they lost to Pitt. PITT. After they barely made it past a mediocre at best Indiana team last week, they are looking at a pretty clear path into the Big Ten Championship game, because their final two games of the season are Rutgers and Michigan State. Combined, these two teams have ONE Big Ten win, which occurred when Michigan State beat Rutgers last week. Wow. This is so annoying.
Okay, breathe. If we beat Michigan and still don’t get to play in the Big Ten Championship, it’s going to be fine. Our season isn’t ruined. Here’s why:
We beat Wisconsin (currently ranked 6th in the country) in Madison.
We beat Oklahoma (currently ranked 8th in the country, and who will likely win the Big 12 conference title) in Norman.
We beat Nebraska (currently ranked 19th in the country, a team who has only two losses, both against top ten teams on the road). And we didn’t just beat them. We
destroyed them, 62-3. We have the opportunity to beat Michigan, currently ranked 4th in the country.
(Using the AP Poll from November 13th, 2o16).
Let me just start off by saying that NO OTHER TEAM in college football has beaten three, possibly four top ranked teams. Maybe several could, but they just haven’t had the opportunity to even play games like that.
So, let me paint a hypothetical picture here.
Just for fun, let’s say that we win out, and beat Michigan. We’ll also say that Penn State finishes their season by beating the two most embarrassing football teams in the Big Ten, and goes to the Big Ten title game. Here’s what would likely happen.
Unfortunately, Alabama is stacked. Let’s just say they finish the season undefeated or with one loss, and win the SEC. Let’s just say that they get into the playoff with the number one seed.
Let’s just say that Clemson, who somehow was upset by Pitt last week (Pitt must be good, because they beat Penn State!! (Except Pitt is not good, they have four losses)), will likely win the ACC. Clemson’s half of the division has Louisville and Florida State in it, so whoever the other half spits into the ACC title game will not be that good. Let’s just say that they win out and get into the playoff with the number two seed.
This leaves two possible scenarios:
Scenario One: Washington wins the rest of their games as well as the Pac-12 title. If this happens, they will likely be given the three or four seed in the playoff, regardless of the fact that they haven’t beaten any good teams, besides Utah.
This leaves one spot for us, Wisconsin, and Louisville to fight over. Even if Penn State wins the Big Ten, they won’t be in the playoff conversation because of Pitt. Thanks, Pitt.
Louisville lost a close one to Clemson, and you could argue that they’re better than Clemson, but they will never get a chance to prove it or play for the ACC title. Also, the only good team they have beaten is Florida State, so goodbye, Louisville. The CFP committee will pass on you.
Wisconsin could very well win the Big Ten title and beat Penn State (Pitt did it, so it can’t be that hard). But they lost to us, Michigan, and barely got by Nebraska
at home. In this situation, we would have beaten Wisconsin, Michigan, and ripped Nebraska to shreds.
Who does the committee choose?
Scenario Two: Washington, who is secretly (or not so secretly) not that good, loses to Washington State or loses the Pac-12 title game. They are out of the playoff race. Bye, bye, Washington!
This leaves two spots for us, Wisconsin, and Louisville to fight over.
If Wisconsin beats Penn State in the Big Ten title game, which they very well should, I would argue that they would put both Ohio State
and Wisconsin in at the three and four spots. Louisville only has one impressive win and no conference title, while Wisconsin would have a conference title as well as wins over ranked teams LSU and Nebraska. They also hung in there with us and TTUN. They’re the best two loss team in college football, no doubt about it.
Maybe the committee would put Big 12 champ Oklahoma/West Virginia in over us in this scenario, but that would be horrendously stupid.
College football is ridiculously unpredictable. Who knows, maybe Penn State will blow a game and we will get to play in the Big Ten championship game. Maybe Alabama will blow a game and we will move up to number one. If we keep winning, we will finish the year ranked #1 or #2, before all of the conference championship games. Could the playoff committee really push a one loss team with a resume like ours out of the top four? Come on.
Obviously, nothing I just said matters if we lose to either team in the state we don’t give a damn for, so let’s take care of that first.