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1 chaotic scenario that would be a nightmare for the College Football Playoff committee

For The Win logo For The Win 12/5/2019 Michelle R. Martinelli

Welcome to Before The Snap, For The Win's college football show where we'll break down the sport's trending storylines, examine each week's biggest matchups and track the College Football Playoff and Heisman Trophy races. 

After months of speculation, analyzing stats and endlessly examining different scenarios, we're finally days away from learning which four teams will be in the College Football Playoff. The four teams competing for a national championship will be announced Sunday at noon ET on ESPN, and the teams invited to play could be determined by the results of the conference championship games this weekend.

Now, one of the best things about college football is its total unpredictability, and we here at For The Win are all about chaos and potential upsets. So rather than breaking down what seems most likely to happen in the conference championship games, we're looking at a scenario we think could create the most chaos for the CFP committee in the final days leading up to selection Sunday.

Before we go any further, here are the College Football Playoff rankings' top-8 teams, all of which are playing for a conference title this weekend:

1. Ohio State 12-0

2. LSU 12-0

3. Clemson 12-0

4. Georgia 11-1

5. Utah 11-1

6. Oklahoma 11-1

7. Baylor 11-1

8. Wisconsin 10-2

Let's say Clemson locks up its playoff spot by cruising past Virginia in the ACC championship game, Utah beats No. 13 Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game and the Big 12 game is a one-score game between Oklahoma and Baylor. What happens if Georgia takes down LSU in the SEC title game and Wisconsin upsets Ohio State in the Big Ten title game?

Chaos! And not just for the selection committee but also among fan bases as they angrily debate why their team deserved a spot/was snubbed/gets no respect.

If Georgia beats LSU, the SEC is probably getting two teams in the playoff. Both teams played and beat multiple ranked opponents this season, the committee has repeatedly shown how highly it views them and it would be hard to deny they're two of the best teams.

So if it's Clemson, Georgia and LSU, which team gets that last spot if the Badgers emerge as a two-loss Big Ten champ? Does Wisconsin get the nod for taking down the No. 1 team and become the first two-loss team invited to the playoff? Can the committee overlook one loss for the Buckeyes, even if it is in the conference championship game, and let them in based on their whole body of work? The latter happening would decrease the importance of conference title games, which have been emphasized as a key component of a team's playoff resume.

And what about the Pac-12 and Big 12 champs? Could an Ohio State loss be enough to keep the Buckeyes and Big Ten out of the playoff altogether in favor of Utah, Oklahoma or Baylor?

We'll have so many questions, should this unlikely scenario play out. But chaos leads to interesting debates and questionable decisions, and it's just too much fun to root against - unless, of course, you cheer for one of these legitimate playoff contenders.


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