Saturday, December 8, 2018

2018 Season Thoughts: Post-Regular Season

From the August Week 0 games to today's Army-Navy game, the regular season is now in the books. With that being the case, let's look back on what made it so different/special.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New Year's Six projections post-Thanksgiving

Based on the most recent rankings, here are my projections for the New Year's Six bowls.

This week, I am doing a little predicting here, since #1 Alabama plays #4 Georgia for the SEC title, the loser will obviously not remain in that ranking.

Cotton Bowl (semi-final)
#1 Alabama (projected SEC champ) vs. #5 Oklahoma (projected Big 12 champ)

Orange Bowl (semi-final)
#2 Clemson (projected ACC champ) vs. #3 Notre Dame

Sugar Bowl
#4 Georgia (projected SEC replacement team) vs. #14 Texas (projected Big 12 replacement team)

Rose Bowl
#11 Washington (projected Pac-12 champ) vs. #10 Ohio State (projected Big Ten champ)

Fiesta Bowl
#8 UCF (projected Group of 5 rep) vs. #9 Florida

Peach Bowl
#10 LSU vs. #7 Michigan

Again, LSU and Florida are interchangeable, as conference foes will not be paired together.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Week 13 wrap up

Conference championships are set, but we have a bit of a logjam in the CFP.

ACC Championship:  Clemson (8-0) vs. Pitt (6-2)
Both teams clinched their division with best record.

Bowl eligible:  Clemson, Notre Dame, UVA, BC, Syracuse, NC State, Duke, Pitt, GT, Miami, WF
Last chance for bowl:  VT
No bowl:  UNC, Louisville, FSU

SEC Championship:  Georgia (7-1) vs. Alabama (8-0)
Both teams clinched their division with the best record.

Bowl eligible:  Georgia, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Missouri, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
No bowl:  Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee

Big Ten Championship:  Ohio State (8-1) vs. Northwestern (8-1)
Ohio State has the head-to-head over Michigan (also 8-1), while Northwestern clinched the West with the best record.

Bowl eligible:  Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue
No bowl:  Rutgers, Nebraska, Illinois, Maryland, Indiana

Pac-12 Championship:  Washington (7-2) vs. Utah (6-3)
Washington has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Washington State (also 7-2), while Utah clinched the South with the best record.

Bowl eligible:  Washington, Washington State, Utah, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, Cal
No bowl:  Oregon State, UCLA, Colorado, USC, Arizona

Big 12 Championship:  Oklahoma (8-1) vs. Texas (7-2)
Both teams had the two best records in the conference.  Third place was WVU at 6-3.

Bowl eligible:  Texas, Oklahoma, WVU, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU
No bowl:  Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State

College Football Playoff outlook
The first criteria established by the CFP committee is number of losses.  These teams have 1 loss or fewer:
-Alabama (12-0)
-Clemson (12-0)
-Notre Dame (12-0)
-Georgia (11-1)
-Oklahoma (11-1)
-Ohio State (11-1)
-UCF (11-0)

All of those teams except Notre Dame have a conference championship left to play.

Right off the bat, we can ignore UCF.  The committee is not going to respect them, even if they are undefeated, to allow them in the CFP.  (Especially considering the devastating injury to their QB this weekend.)  That means there are six teams in play for four spots.

It's safe to say that Notre Dame and Alabama are in the CFP.  Notre Dame is the only team currently guaranteed to enter bowl season undefeated, so you can't leave that team out.  Even if Alabama loses the SEC championship game, the rest of their season has elevated them enough to keep them in.

Which teams are "win and in"?  Obviously, Alabama and Clemson would get in as undefeated teams.  Georgia would most likely get in at 12-1 by having the most impressive win on their resume.  Outside of that, I believe the other teams would be at the mercy of the other games going on.

Oklahoma's only loss of the season came from Texas, who they will face again next weekend.  If they win, they could play the card that they beat every team they faced.

It's hard to say that any of these teams are definitely in a "lose and out" situation.  If all of them lose (obviously excluding the SEC winner), then we're still in the same situation we are now.

Ohio State probably has the worst loss (Purdue) of the bunch.  Their best chance at getting into the top four would be a Georgia loss combined with a Clemson or Oklahoma loss.

I think Clemson's biggest threat to the semi-finals would be a loss to Pitt combined with an Ohio State win, especially if Oklahoma wins on top of that.

I think the easiest path to the final four teams would be Alabama defeating Georgia, and then Oklahoma or Ohio State losing their title game.

Still have quite a bit to unpack here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

NY6 projections

Based on the most recent rankings, here are my projections for the New Year's Six bowls.

Cotton Bowl (semi-final)
#1 Alabama (projected SEC champ) vs. #4 Michigan (projected Big Ten champ)

Orange Bowl (semi-final)
#2 Clemson (projected ACC champ) vs. #3 Notre Dame

Sugar Bowl
#5 Georgia (projected SEC replacement team) vs. #6 Oklahoma (projected Big 12 champ)

Rose Bowl
#8 Washington State (projected Pac-12 champ) vs. #10 Ohio State (projected Big Ten replacement team)

Fiesta Bowl
#9 UCF (projected Group of 5 rep) vs. #11 Florida

Peach Bowl
#7 LSU vs. #12 Penn State

The G5 team is locked into the Fiesta Bowl, and I think Penn State gets pushed to the Peach Bowl simply to avoid matching up two SEC teams in the same bowl.  LSU and Florida could be interchangeable in this scenario.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Week 12 wrap up

The is the last week that we have to play "what if" or "if/then" with any of the conference races.  Two conferences already have their championship games set.  Two others have half of the matchup set, with a winner-take-all game set for the other side.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Year's Six projections

Based on the most recent rankings, here are my projections for the New Year's Six bowls.

Cotton Bowl (semi-final)
#1 Alabama (projected SEC champ) vs. #4 Michigan (projected Big Ten champ)

Orange Bowl (semi-final)
#2 Clemson (projected ACC champ) vs. #3 Notre Dame

Sugar Bowl
#5 Georgia (projected SEC replacement team) vs. #6 Oklahoma (projected Big 12 champ)

Rose Bowl
#8 Washington State (projected Pac-12 champ) vs. #10 Ohio State (projected Big Ten replacement team)

Fiesta Bowl
#11 UCF (projected Group of 5 rep) vs.#7 LSU

Peach Bowl
#9 WVU vs. #12 Syracuse

The last two could go any way, except that the G5 team is going to the Fiesta Bowl.  I figure that LSU will travel better to Arizona than the other two teams, which will do better in Atlanta.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Week 11 wrap up

Could we have called this Separation Saturday?  A lot of teams got eliminated, and several races have come down to two teams.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Week 10 wrap up

The SEC is fully decided.  Does anyone want to win the Pac-12 South?  Is Maryland feeling nostalgic for the ACC with their one possible scenario to win the division?

Maryland's only chance to win the Big Ten East

I thought Maryland was out of contention for the Big Ten East, but then I saw one scenario that could give them the division.

Maryland would have to force a tie with Michigan at 6-3.  Due to the structure of the remaining schedule, such a tie would also have to involve Ohio State.

Monday, October 29, 2018

2018 Season Review: October Edition

What a month of shake-ups - particularly in the bottom part of the rankings throughout October! With just one month to go in the regular season, let's take a dive into the season that is (and what might still be).