Predicting the Week 13 College Football Playoff Rankings
Oregon is out. Who is in? Where is Cincinnati?
The drama surrounding the College Football Playoff Rankings typically works itself out by the end of the regular season. This year the biggest point of contention was Michigan being ranked higher than Michigan State, despite Michigan State winning the head to head matchup. Well folks, Michigan State got bludgeoned by Ohio State and snuffed that drama out completely.
The remaining drama involves the potential inclusion/exclusion of Cincinnati. Will a Group of 5 team finally break down that ceiling? Now that Oregon has earned another loss, someone has to fill in a playoff spot. Let’s see what our playoff prediction model thinks of this week’s rankings.
Review of Last Week
Another excellent week for the model. The first 11 were spot on, and the only real miss was down at the bottom with Arkansas. As you drop further down the rankings you start to see even more uncertainty, especially with teams entering the top 25. This week we saw Michigan State, Oregon and Wake Forest lose in the top ten, which means we need a new team to enter into the playoff bracket.
Week 13 Playoff Rankings Predictions
This is the week ladies and gentlemen. In the 7th year of the Playoff Era, a Group of 5 team enters the top 4 of the rankings. With Oregon biting the dust, the Bearcats enter the playoff with one regular season and one conference championship game to go. You would think in this situation Cincinnati controls its own destiny, but you can never really trust the committee on Group of 5 affairs. The only team that could potentially pass Cinci is Michigan, but that seems very low probability given their win against Maryland wasn’t anything extraordinary.
I was a bit surprised that Ohio State didn’t pass Alabama after their beat down of the Spartans. In fact the model believes it really isn’t a possibility. Personally I disagree with the model and think we could see Ohio State making the jump.
We have been pushing this under the rug for most of the season but we cannot hide it any longer: Notre Dame will be in the main playoff graphic and thus are considered legitimate playoff contenders. If it comes down to a 2 loss Alabama vs. a 1 loss Notre Dame, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod from the committee. Of course, if Cincinnati loses its final game to Houston in the AAC championship game, and Ohio State continues its streak against Michigan, it could be a 4th spot given to the Fighting Irish almost by default.
An Arkansas loss means we will get a minimum of one addition to the rankings. The question is: Who will it be? We have a rather large list to choose from, with a lot of deserving candidates. A 21 point beat down of the previous 10th ranked team could very well be Clemson’s path back into the rankings. Or perhaps we see Louisiana rewarded for their impressive one loss season so far. Personally I believe it will be one of these two teams, with my gut leaning towards Clemson.
If you want to see more charts and one off analysis, follow my twitter page, @CFBNumbers