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College Football Playoff Analysis - Week 12
1. LSU 2. Ohio State 3. Clemson 4. Georgia 5. Alabama 6. Oregon 7. Utah 8. Minnesota 9. Penn State 10. Oklahoma 11. Florida 12. Auburn 13. Baylor 14. Wisconsin 15. Michigan 16. Notre Dame 17. Cincinnati 18. Memphis 19. Texas 20. Iowa 21. Boise State 22. Oklahoma State 23. Navy 24. Kansas State 25. Appalachian State
1. Which teams are a lock for the CFB Playoffs?
At this point it kind of feels like LSU is going to be in the playoffs one way or another. That win against Bama is added to an already very impressive record with wins against Texas, Florida and Auburn. Barring some insane meltdown in the next couple of weeks, The Tigers should at least get that last spot even if they lose in the SEC championship to Georgia. Ohio State also feels like a lock, however they have a tougher stretch of games. On the flip side, another Tiger team feels like a lock, as well; Clemson jumping back into the top 4 also signals that they’re likely in, as it seems the committee is going to overlook their lack of a strong schedule in favor of their overall dominance. All they need to do is win out, but they have a favorable schedule — including whoever they face in the ACC Championship game — so it shouldn’t be much of a bold prediction to say they’re in.
2. Which team gained the most this week?
Outside of LSU, no team made a bigger statement on Saturday than Minneosta did, taking care of Penn State 31-26 and jumping form 17 to 8 in the top 25. It was their first matchup against a top ranked opponent and they looked very impressive throughout the game to continue their unlikely undefeated season. The Golden Gophers have an opportunity to finish undefeated before the Big 10 Championship game and if that were to be their only loss, wins against Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin could be enough to convince the committee to give them that fourth spot.
3. Which team took the biggest hit this week?
While the Penn State loss to Minnesota might have been a bigger upset, Alabama losing to LSU is the biggest blow of the week. Bama hadn’t really been tested all year and it showed in the first half of the game. While they managed to keep it close, they’re likely going to miss the SEC championship and if they struggle against rival Auburn to end the year, they might not have the strength of schedule to warrant them in as a 1 loss team, especially if a 1 loss Georgia manages to beat LSU in the SEC title game. They can still make their case with a big win Auburn, especially if the Tigers upset Georgia this week.
4. Which team has the toughest challenge this week?
It’s Georgia, no question about it. Many people wrote them off after the South Carolina loss due to their inconsistency on offense, but the Bulldogs have managed to scrap their way back into the discussion and are currently holding that last playoff spot. Still, there’s work to be done and it starts this weekend with a road trip to Auburn, where the Tigers are looking to shake things up in the SEC. If Georgia wants to make a case to the committee for that last spot — even if they lose a close game to LSU in the SEC title game — a big win on the road in a hostile environment is the best way to do it.
5. Which team has the most to prove?
Yes, Georgia is playing a crucial game this week, and Minneosta has to go on the road to face Iowa, but the two teams that have the most to prove this week are actually playing in the same game: Baylor and Oklahoma. The Bears are undefeated and in first place in the Big 12 but have played in too many close games against lesser opponents. Likewise, Oklahoma is insanely talented on offense but has let teams move the ball up and down the field with ease. The Big 12 is probably going to miss out on a playoff berth, but this game might change that. If Baylor wins this game, there’s a chance they could finish the season undefeated with the Big 12 crow and if Oklahoma were to win this game, they could regain their spot atop the conference. They’ll have to beat the Bears in convincing fashion, however.
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