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Sooners Edge Buckeyes Heading Into Championship Weekend

The College Football Playoff selection committee released its penultimate rankings on Tuesday, with few surprises.

The top three seeds remain unchanged with Alabama #1, Clemson #2, Notre Dame #3, and Georgia #4 rounding out the top of the projected playoff. Oklahoma #5 edged out #Ohio State #6 . Michigan #7 only fell three spots after getting historically massacred by the Buckeyes. UCF #8, Florida #9, and LSU #10 round out the top ten.

The interesting thing about the ranking is there will be little room for debate next week. Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame are locked in, even with a loss for the Crimson Tide or the Tigers. The final spot will practically follow a flow chart based on which scenario, explained below, plays out on Saturday.

The Georgia Bulldogs

Beat ‘Bama

It is simple for Georgia. Win and you’re in. It will be no small task, though, as Alabama has been a juggernaut all season. Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs will need to play their best football of the year, but a win against the No. 1 team in the nation and an SEC championship can’t be argued.

Likelihood: 15%

The Oklahoma Sooners

Beat Texas, and Alabama beats Georgia

The Sooners are going to need a little help from the Crimson Tide to get into the national semifinal. It does seem likely though that ‘Bama takes care of business, which would mean Oklahoma will only need to avenge its loss against archrival Texas. The No. 14 Longhorns won, 48-45, against the Sooners earlier this season. A win here for Oklahoma would be as big a statement for the selection committee, brushing off the loss as nothing but a hiccup.

Likelihood: 48%

The Ohio State Buckeyes

Beat Northwestern, and Texas beats Oklahoma, and Alabama beats Georgia

On the surface, Ohio State seems screwed. But have hope Buckeye Nation. Alabama is likely going to toss Georgia aside. Texas has already proven they can beat Oklahoma. Northwestern is only 8-4 this year and is the No. 4 team in the conference at best. Ohio State should win this game easily and with a little luck, it will be back in the playoff.

Likelihood: 35%

The UCF Knights

Beat Memphis, and Northwestern beats Ohio State, and Texas beats Oklahoma, and Alabama beats Georgia

While it might take an entire paragraph of other things to go right for the defending national champions to get into the playoff, they still have a chance. Michigan is currently ranked ahead of them, but it would be criminal to allow a 2-loss team that didn’t even win a conference in ahead of a team on a 24-game winning streak. Memphis is always a scrappy team to play against. UCF only beat them by 1 point earlier this season, but the Knights have a real team-of-destiny feel to them. Hollywood has practically already bought the rights to the story if the Knights can get in after their stud QB goes down and everybody has said there was no chance.

Likelihood: 2%

There is technically a chance Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and UCF all lose. If that were to happen, I have it on good authority the Oakland Raiders would claim the final spot in the playoff.


Photo: CBS Sports

MH
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