With the regular season coming to a close, we have just one weekend of football standing between us and bowl season. The season has flown by, it seems, yet there is still so much left up in the air with at-most three games left on any team's schedule. Much has been made of the College Football Playoff rankings throughout the season, but with just one game left before the final, and most important, rankings of the season come out. As it stands now, LSU and Ohio State have likely locked up a spot in the playoff regardless of their conference championship results. Then, Clemson is likely in regardless of the result of the ACC Championship Game, but in the event of maximum (nearly unimaginable) chaos, a loss this weekend could feasibly give the Playoff Committee reason for pause before locking Clemson into the four-team playoff. However, this "maximum chaos" scenario is so unlikely that for the sake of the upcoming thought exercise/playoff ramifications guide, we will say that Clemson has locked themselves into a spot in this year's playoff. The final spot in the playoff is truly up for grabs heading into this weekend, and here is a brief guide to the weekend's action and the potential ramifications of each relevant game's outcome:
- If Georgia beats LSU in the SEC Championship Game (30.92-percent chance of happening, according to betting markets), Georgia locks up the final spot in the playoff, and all other results are irrelevant.
However, if Georgia loses, as expected...
- If #5 Utah dominates #13 Oregon, they have a strong case against whichever team wins the Big 12 Championship Game. However, they are not an overwhelming favorite over each team, as the Big 12 Champion will finish off their resume with an extremely high-quality win.
- If #6 Oklahoma defeats #7 Baylor in emphatic fashion and #5 Utah wins (but does not dominate), Oklahoma has a strong case to leapfrog #5 Utah and make the playoff. Oklahoma would be the favorite for the #4 spot.
- If #6 Oklahoma squeaks out a sloppy victory over #7 Baylor and #5 Utah wins, Oklahoma's case to leapfrog Utah is not nearly as strong. It would be a near toss-up between the two teams.
- #7 Baylor needs to dominate #6 Oklahoma from start-to-finish to warrant jumping over #5 Utah and making the playoff in the event of a non-dominant Utah victory in their championship game. Utah should still be the favorite in this scenario, but Baylor would give the Committee reason to rethink their decision.
- If #5 Utah loses, the winner of the Big 12 Championship Game should be the de facto #4 team in the nation. The Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday afternoon will effectively be the first game of the College Football Playoff if Oregon upsets Utah on Friday night.
Sunday, December 8th's College Football Playoff rankings are the only ones that ultimately matter for the sake of the final four teams that move onto the playoffs and many have theorized that all rankings up until this final iteration are driven by maximizing profits throughout the sport, rather than truly ranking the top-25 teams. If these skeptics are correct, then this all may be for naught, as the rankings up until this point may not accurately represent the true pulse of the room for the College Football Playoff Ranking Committee. However, regardless of how meaningful the rankings have been up until this point, Friday and Saturday will be filled with high-stakes college football from start to finish, with national title hopes on the line in multiple conference championship games. As we all sit on the edge of our seats, let's sweat some college football DFS one last time before bowl season kicks off. This should help you begin to construct your player pool for both cash games and tournaments this weekend:
Best of luck to everyone, and as always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this article, feel free to reach out to me on twitter @ThaGreatZambino!
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