Week eight is upon us, and that means the playoffs that have been looming over the CFSL this season are really knocking on the door, as are several teams knocking on the door of the playoffs. But as to who gets in? Well, that remains to be seen and we all know week eight is rivalry week, meaning there’s plenty of shakeups that can happen. Nonetheless, we’ll go over the simplest possible out comes for what each playoff viable team (teams who have not been officially eliminated) need to get in. Starting with the Big Ten.
With the Big Ten Champions being decided with USC’s loss last week, we’re now left trying to sort out the two and three seeds in the conference, those who will get in aside from Oklahoma State. Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC all remain in play here.
You might be wondering why I’ve combined these two teams into one section, and the reasoning here is admittedly simple. Nebraska and Oregon will face each other this week, and the winner goes. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Win and in is the mantra for both teams going into this matchup, making it a thrilling contest to watch.
Much like the aforementioned game, I’ve elected to combine the scenario for Notre Dame and USC together. Much like Nebraska and Oregon, this game is very simple. The winner goes on to the playoffs, the loser goes home. Not much simpler than that.
It never fails, this conference can never be simple. But, that means there’s more excitement to go across the course of the week. Five teams are all with scenarios here, albeit some is for seeding. Still these teams all have something at stake this week: LSU, Miami, Auburn, Clemson, and Alabama.
LSU has already punched their ticket to the playoffs, so why talk about them? Well, they need some help if they want to win the SEC and get a first round bye. Since they lost to Miami this season, they need the Hurricanes to lose this week in order to win the conference. If not then….
The Miami Hurricanes can win the SEC by winning this week. They already beat LSU this season, and now just need to win in order to claim the SEC title for themselves, which would include the first round bye.
In case there was ever any doubt, yes, the defending National Champions have a very simple path to the playoffs. They just have to win. Lose, and things will get extremely dicey in the SEC which I’ll lay out with our remaining teams.
Auburn and Alabama, the last two teams who are still in the running, can get in but not without help. The victor of the Iron Bowl opens the door, but for Auburn, their win must be complemented by the Florida State Seminoles toppling the Miami Hurricanes. Since Auburn beat the Hurricanes this season, they would get in over the Hurricanes for the playoffs.
Much like their rivals, the Crimson Tide has to win this week, needing to defeat their rival to open the door. But, that’s only one half of the equation. Alabama still needs Clemson to lose, needing the Florida Gators to topple them. That’s a pretty crucial upset for Alabama to get in, because if that were to happen then the Crimson Tide gets in over Clemson due to having a better conference record than the orange and purple brand Tigers.
If you’re not watching these games this week, especially the rivalries that absolutely determine playoff seeding, you might need to get your pulse checked. This is rivalry week, and it’s as big of a week as I can remember it being, because these rivalry games dictate the playoff landscape for the rest of the CFSL.