GRAPEVINE, Texas – The 13 members of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee gather at Gaylord Texan Resort, where they are watching conference championships together, the first time they have watched games as a group this season. It’s the last chance for teams to make a playoff, and Big 12 and Big Ten take today a key stage, as SEC winner Notre Dame and Clemson should finish in the top four (provided that Clemson does not suffer from what would be a epic upset against Pitt).
As the day progresses, it’s a single deal for how each championship game affects the selection committee’s deliberations that are expected to go over midnight and ultimately for their final four, which will be revealed at 1
2.30 ET on Sunday at ESPN. Jason Getz / USA TODAY Sports
1 Alabama 35, No. 4 Georgia 28
An Alabama win would make it easier, but considering how well Georgia was playing in the loss, Bulldogs opened the door of the committee to consider a two-loss team that did not “Do not even win its conference championship. Now it should be a First, the committee’s job is to choose the four best teams, the period and there may be people in the room who think Georgia is still one of the four, despite the two losses (to No. 1 Alabama and No. 10 LSU). Also, there are people in the room who value a conference champion and will argue on behalf of Oklahoma and / or Ohio State. How Ohio State Prizes in the Big Ten Championship game became even more important and the committee’s work much more difficult. Alabama, meanwhile, has almost certainly confirmed the top seed in the CFP.
No. 5 Oklahoma 39, No. 14 Texas 27
Oklahoma avenged its usual season loss to Texas when it meant e most – with the entire selection committee watching the Big 12 Championship game. One-loss Sooner’s fate in the playoff now depends on how Ohio State performs in the Big Ten Championship game – and who wins the SEC. Oklahoma defense made some snapshots, including its first security since 2013, and Sooners held an opponent under 40 points for the first time in five games. Oklahoma took care of business – but now it looks on the scoreboard. The Sooners should rot for Alabama and Northwestern to win, which would only guarantee them No. 4 spot. If Alabama loses and Ohio State wins, Sooners will participate in a debate on three teams.
American Athletic Conference
No. 8 UCF 56, Memphis 41
With Darriel Mack Jr. who led the crime instead of injured starter McKenzie Milton retained UCF’s second undecided season intact and will earn a bid for a New Year’s Six Bowl for the second straight season after defeating Memphis to win AAC. The knights are likely to go to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, as the selection committee will probably not send them to Chick-File-A Peach Bowl again. It’s likely to be the roof of the uninvited knights, as both Georgia and Alabama are playing a show in the SEC championship at the same time, and Oklahoma also made a fall by killing Texas to win the Big 12 championship. It was admittedly a statement for UCF, which played an inspired game without Milton. Mack became the second AAC player this season with two matching touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns in a single game. The other one? Milton, against the FAU.
No. 2 Clemson vs No. 24 Pittsburgh (8:00 ET / ABC)
There is no reason that Clemson should lose this game – in addition to the story, of course. Pittsburgh has won his last three matches against teams ranked in the top three of the Associated Press, including a victory at No. 3 Clemson in 2016. If Clemson were to lose it would easily be greatest in the championship week and the tigers would be in serious danger of let out the four best. It would probably open the door to the Big 12 and Big Ten champions if both Oklahoma and Ohio State win, but it would be a big debate for the committee, because the tigers were their team No. 2 all season and it would be Clemson’s only loss.
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 21 Northwestern (8 p.m. ET / FOX)
No matter who wins, there is a possibility that the Big Ten champion can be left outside the final game for the third straight season. If four-loss Northwestern wins, the league is really clear. If Ohio State wins, it depends in part on how it wins – and what happens in the other conference’s title game. By striking Michigan convincing last week, Buckeyes improved his playoff chances drastically in the eyes of the committee and closed the gap with Oklahoma.
Pac-12: Washington Clinches Rose Bowl Appearance
With Washington’s victory over Utah on Friday night, the Huskies earned a trip to the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, where they are expected to be an underdog against the Big Tens Representative , probably No. 6 Ohio State or No. 7 Michigan. Pac-12 will miss the final for the third time in four years, when Washington ended with three losses.