The craziest thing about Week 11 of the 2018 college football season is that it wasn’t crazy. In each of the past three seasons, Week 11 was a week of dramatic Top 10 upsets. This week, college football fans watched all ten Top 10 teams claim victories.
Since it didn’t happen this week, it is likely to happen somewhere in the final three weeks of the college football season. Sometime over the next three weeks, chaos is going to rear its ugly head and make a mess of the College Football Playoff. Here’s what could happen.
Notre Dame Loses No one really expected the Fighting Irish to falter against a weak Florida State team at home on Senior Night. Even with backup QB Brandon Wimbush, the Irish pounded the Seminoles 42-13. Next week though, the task will be much harder against a No. 13 Syracuse that scores points by the bunches. Then, Notre Dame has to beat rival USC on the road.
Should the Irish lose a game, would they be out of the CFP? Most likely, but what if Ohio State wins the Big Ten? The Irish and Buckeyes would both have one loss and both have wins over Michigan and Northwestern. To add even more drama, what if the Big 12 and Pac-12 champions each have two losses? While a loss wouldn’t necessarily drop them out of the CFP, it will severely hurt Notre Dame’s chances.
Alabama Loses SEC Title Game Say Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs would be a one-loss SEC champ and a CFP participant. What about the Crimson Tide? They spent most of the season ranked No. 1 and were clearly one of the best teams in the country. Would the committee put Alabama into the top four as it did last year without a conference championship? What if Michigan wins out and wins the Big Ten? Would the committee leave out the Big Ten champ for the third year in a row?
Big 12 Chaos The top two teams in the Big 12 are West Virginia and Oklahoma. Both have just one loss and are headed toward the Big 12 championship game. Sixth-ranked Oklahoma will play ninth-ranked West Virginia in the season finale on Nov. 23. If they are still the top two teams in the conference, they will meet exactly one week later in the Big 12 championship game.
Whoever wins in the season finale could lose in the conference title game leaving a two-loss Big 12 champ. Should that happen, it would likely eliminate the Big 12 from the CFP and open the door for teams such as a one-loss Notre Dame, Ohio State, or even Alabama.
Clemson Wins & Loses Clemson will finish the season with its annual rivalry game with South Carolina before playing in the ACC championship game. Imagine if the Tigers lost to South Carolina – which has no impact on the ACC title – and win the following week for their fourth straight ACC championship. The Tigers would be a one-loss conference champ.
Add in some of the above scenarios and consider unbeaten Alabama and unbeaten Notre Dame and a Big Ten champion Michigan, for example. Clemson would be No. 4 at best. But, what if Georgia did beat Alabama in the SEC title game? A one-loss ‘Bama over a one-loss Clemson? Who knows, but it could get very interesting over these next three weeks.