College Football Doomsday

With championship Saturday right around the corner, it is easy to start daydreaming about all the possibilities that could happen if No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama lose in their respective title games.

What if that did happen? Let that idea sink in for a minute.

Chaos. It would bring mad chaos for the playoff committee.

The top-ranked Clemson Tigers head into the ACC title game with an undefeated record with two major wins – both at home – against Notre Dame and Florida State who currently sit at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively. Now, the Tigers face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the title bout, and many experts believe this isn’t a lock for Dabo Swinney’s squad.

The Tar Heels lost their opener to a terrible South Carolina team but since then they have steamed rolled their way through their schedule. Putting up 30 or more points in nine of their 11 wins.

Granted the ACC Coastal Division is about as pathetic as a conference gets, but to put up 66 against their rival down the street (Duke), and then to follow up with a dismantle of Miami with 59 points is impressive.

UNC can score in bunches, and if the Tar Heels want to knock off Clemson they must keep up in a foot race – which won’t be a problem.  

In addition – neither team will have home field advantage since both Clemson University and Chapel Hill are approximately two hours away from Charlotte, NC.

Now moving a little farther south to the Georgia Dome, where the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide face a two-loss Florida Gators squad.

Anything can happen in sports. I will be the first to admit this. Bigger and grander upsets have occurred. Not even upsets but crazy moments have unfolded – many in this year of college football alone.

Michigan State’s win over Michigan, which was followed up by Georgia Tech dethroning the Florida State Seminoles. How the Spartans and Yellow Jackets earned those victories were dream-like.

Movie director Spike Lee once said that sports are better than film because it cannot be scripted. He nailed that theory because only a few hours after he said it, his New York Yankees lost the ALCS to the Boston Red Sox after being up 3-0 in the series.

Again, anything can happen.

Nonetheless – this will be an easy win for the Crimson Tide. The Gators needed overtime to get past Florida Atlantic, and then they were embarrassed by their nemesis, Florida State. In which, they could only muster two points against the Seminoles.

Let’s play devil’s advocate.

What if the Gators knocked out Alabama? That would mean an SEC team would have a zero percent chance to play for the National Championship since 2005. The miraculous Rose Bowl finish when Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns pulled the upset over the mighty two-time defending national champion, USC Trojans.

Last year, Ohio State clinched the first ever college football playoff trophy over Pac-12 Champion Oregon. Yet, Ohio State needed to get through Alabama in the Sugar Bowl first, which was only a touchdown victory for the Buckeyes.

If Alabama loses this Saturday, it would be the nail in the coffin to the dominating run the SEC had for a decade.

If those two teams lost, it would already spell trouble for the playoff committee. No team would be satisfied. Let’s throw in the No. 7 Stanford Cardinals into the mix as well.

The Cardinals will play the 8-4 USC Trojans in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Everyone believed USC to be out for the count after losing two straight, and three of four at the beginning of the year. Despite those losses the season was saved the week following the Notre Dame loss, when the Trojans clobbered the No. 3 Utah Utes.

With a new head coach (Clay Helton) at the realm for the Trojans, this title game has the most realistic feel to be an upset.

The main concern is if only the top two teams (Clemson, Alabama) lose. Who will be filling those spots? Oklahoma and the winner of the Big Ten Championship Game between Michigan State and Iowa will be automatic.

The debate will come to play between Ohio State, UNC, Stanford, and even a one-loss Clemson.

Ohio State will presumably earn a spot if this comes to fruition. Deservingly so – they are one of the best teams in this year’s best conference.

North Carolina will have an argument because they played in a conference title game. On the flip side, Clemson has an argument because they only would have one loss and played in a conference title game where as the Buckeyes did not.

What if Stanford wins the Pac-12?

Do they have a right to be seated at the table?

What if Michigan State defeats Iowa? What about the Hawkeyes? They won in impressive fashion for the entire year. They have put up points in bunches and have won in nail biters. They have handled the dismay from the country with such grace all year long.

If Clemson and Alabama lose, and the Spartans win the Big Ten title game – three of the top four should be the superior Big Ten teams.

No. 1 Oklahoma

No. 2 Michigan State

No. 3 Ohio State

No. 4 Iowa

No. 5 Clemson

The college football playoff was designed to give the best four teams in the country an opportunity to compete for a national title. This year, the Big Ten has been without question the best conference in the country.

Yet – let’s save that conversation for another time.

Alabama is still an elite team, do not misunderstand that. Their one loss however came to the hands of No. 13 Ole Miss (9-3), and not to mention the game was played in Tuscaloosa.

Clemson on the other hand needed a goal line stop to finish off Notre Dame, and for three quarters Florida State (clearly a less talented team) dominated the Tigers. Jimbo Fisher’s squad ultimately ran out of gas by the fourth. Also- both games were played in Death Valley – a huge advantage for Clemson.

At the end of the day, the college football playoff should be expanded to eight teams. As of right now the system is a glorified version of the BCS.

The playoff works when the team’s who should win handle their business, but there will be one year, when doom knocks on the playoff committee’s door.