NCAA Football: Playoffs, Coaches, Championships and Everything Else

Nov 29, 2017

by Chase Gage

 

It’s that time of year. The end of the college football regular season can only mean one thing: chaos.

Who’s in the College Football Playoff? Who is going to be the next coach at (insert school here)? How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

At this point in the season, there are more questions than answers, but soon enough, the answers will come. Until then, it’s all speculation.

That’s where I come in.

Today, let’s take a look at the state of College Football. We’ll dive into the CFP, the Championship games and the coaching situations of a few schools.

Are you already exhausted? Just wait. Let’s dive in, shall we?


College Football Playoffs

Who is in the Playoffs? (in no particular order)

  1. SEC Champion (Auburn vs Georgia)
  2. ACC Champion (Miami vs Clemson)
  3. ???????
  4. ???????

The short answer, no one is a lock.

Scenarios:

  • If Wisconsin wins the Big Ten, they’re in
  • If Oklahoma wins the Big 12, they’re in
  • If Ohio State wins the Big Ten, Wisconsin is out
  • If TCU wins the Big 12, Oklahoma is out
  • Alabama is on the fence and needs help
  • Ohio State will be on the fence with a win

    urban
    Urban Meyer getting ready to fight the CFP Committee if they don’t let Ohio State in. Photo via grantland.com

 

So, the Playoff will look something like this (again, in no particular order):

  1. Auburn/Georgia
  2. Clemson/Miami
  3. Oklahoma (if they win)
  4. Wisconsin (if they win)
  5. Alabama (if Oklahoma or Wisconsin lose)
  6. Ohio State (if Oklahoma AND Wisconsin lose)
saban
Nick Saban after finding out Alabama will likely miss the CFP because they lost to the only good team they played all season. Photo via YouTube

Some have made the argument recently (since Alabama lost, go figure) that the playoff should be expanded to eight teams. My answer to that insane idea is that it already is bigger than a four-team tournament. Think of all the ‘unofficial’ playoff games that have taken place. I’ll break it down for you.

Unofficial Playoff Games:

  • Alabama vs Auburn
  • Georgia vs Auburn (the first time)
  • Oklahoma vs TCU (the first time)
  • Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State
  • Miami vs Notre Dame
  • SEC Championship
  • ACC Championship
  • Big Ten Championship
  • Big 12 Championship

The entire month of November in college football is playoff time. It’s set up that way so that there will be a clear-cut resolution at the end of the year. Will there be a team that gets left out that should have made it? Of course. But would you rather see that one team left out or they and three other (undeserving) teams get in as well? No way. That’s what the regular season is for. The day the playoff expands is the day the regular season and championship games die. Do you really want to see a team like USC or the loser of the SEC/ACC Championship make it to the playoff?


Speaking of championship games…

Championship Games:

Power 5:

  • SEC: Auburn vs Georgia
    • Winner will (likely) earn a spot in the College Football Playoff
    • Auburn has losses to LSU and Clemson but wins over Georgia and Alabama
    • Georgia’s only loss is to Auburn in the regular season
  • ACC: Clemson vs Miamithe u
    • Winner will (likely) earn a spot in the College Football Playoff
    • Clemson lost to Syracuse in early October
    • Miami lost to Pitt in their latest game
  • Big Ten: Ohio State vs Wisconsin
    • If Wisconsin wins, they’re in the playoff
    • If Ohio State wins, they still need help
    • Wisconsin is undefeated
    • Ohio State lost to Oklahoma in the second game of the year but got blown out (55-24) by 7-5 Iowa
  • Big 12: Oklahoma vs TCU
    • If Oklahoma wins, they’re in the playoff
    • TCU should be statistically eliminated from the playoff
    • Oklahoma lost to Iowa State in early October and defeated TCU earlier this month
  • Pac-12: Stanford vs USC
    • Neither team has a legitimate shot at the Playoff, but the winner will go to a New Year’s Six Bowl

Non-Power 5

  • Sun Belt: Troy at Arkansas State/Louisiana at Appalachian State
    rings
    Time to add another to the collection? Photo via Twitter
    • Winner of Troy/Arkansas State clinches a share of the Sun Belt title
    • If Appalachian State wins, they clinch a share
    • If Appalachian State loses, the winner of Troy/Arkansas State wins the Sun Belt outright
    • Fun Fact: Since 2005, either Troy or Arkansas State has won at least a share of the Sun Belt title every year besides 2014.
      • 2005: Arkansas State (shared)
      • 2006: Troy (shared)
      • 2007: Troy (shared)
      • 2008: Troy
      • 2009: Troy
      • 2010: Troy (shared)
      • 2011: Arkansas State
      • 2012: Arkansas State
      • 2013: Arkansas State (shared)
      • 2015: Arkansas State
      • 2016: Arkansas State (shared)
    • They have combined for 11 of the 16 Sun Belt championships, and this year will make 12/17.
    • Arkansas State has the most championships in Sun Belt history with six and Troy is second with five.
  • AAC: Memphis vs UCF
    • Central Florida will be for the College Football Playoff what Boise State was for the BCS system
    • If UCF wins, they will finish the season undefeated and will not even be considered for a CFP spot, proving that the playoff is exclusive to the Power 5 conferences
    • The last time UCF lost was in the Cure Bowl to Arkansas State (you know I had to add that)
  • Mountain West: Fresno State vs Boise State
    • The winner will finish with a 10-win season. That’s always impressive
  • MAC: Akron vs Toledo
    • Toledo is a heavy favorite in their pursuit of a championship and an 11-win season
  • Conference USA: North Texas vs Florida Atlantic
    • Wait, Conference USA still exists?
    • Wait, these teams both used to suck in the Sun Belt. How are they the best teams in Conference USA?

Coaching

I won’t get into rumors and speculation here, but just give you a rundown of a few jobs that are either open or have recently been filled.

Tennessee

  • The Greg Schinao debacle may mark the unofficial end of Tennessee football. As if the last 20 years of mediocrity wasn’t enough.
  • Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State reportedly turned down $8.4 million (would make him the third-highest paid coach in college football) to stay on as the Cowboys’ head coach. Ouch.

Florida

  • Hired Dan Mullen from Mississippi State
  • Mullen was 69-46 (33-39 SEC) at Mississippi State over nine seasons.
  • He also posted a 5-2 bowl record for the Bulldogs and only had two losing seasons (made a bowl game last season with a 5-7 record and won)

Texas A&M

  • Fired Kevin Sumlin after six seasons
  • 51-26 overall, 25-23 SEC

Arkansas

  • Fired Bret Bielema after five seasons
  • 29-34 overall, 11-29 SEC

Ole Miss

  • Promoted interim coach to head coach ahead of potential sanctions.
  • It feels like Ole Miss is giving up for now until the end of the mess Hugh Freeze left behind.

Mississippi State

  • Dan Mullen left for Florida
  • Hired Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead

UCLA

  • Hired Chip Kelly
  • Kelly last coached for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, and has not coached at the college level since his wildly successful years at Oregon from 2009-2012.

Nebraska

  • Has interest in Scott Frost.
  • Frost has led the UCF Knights to an 11-0 season (so far) and has not lost since the Cure Bowl against Arkansas State (I’m going to bring this up every opportunity I have).

Arizona State

  • Has shown interest in Herm Edwards.
  • Edwards previously coached the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs but has not been a head coach since 2008.
  • He has not coached at the college level since he was a defensive backs coach for San Jose State in 1989.

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