There is now only one week remaining in the regular season, and with it comes the always exciting question of, “who’s in?” With only one Conference Champion, there’s a lot still to be sorted out over the course of this week. I know you may be concerned at how confusing this all could be but don’t worry, we’ll take this one conference at a time.
USC – Conference Champions
BOISE – In with a win AND Ohio State LOSS
OSU – WIN and in
NOTRE DAME – In with a win AND Ohio State and Boise LOSS
OREGON – In with a win AND Notre Dame LOSS
MICHIGAN – OUT
As you can see, the playoff scenarios are about as easy to interpret as you can expect. With USC’s win over Boise State last week, week eight comes down to the runner-up spot which guarantees a playoff berth. Notre Dame and Oregon need help, but we’ve seen wilder things happen before.
OKLAHOMA STATE – Conference Champions with WIN AND Texas A&M LOSS, IN with WIN
OKLAHOMA – Conference Champions with WIN AND Texas A&M LOSS, IN with WIN
TEXAS A&M – Conference Champions with WIN, In with LOSS
LSU – OUT
NEBRASKA – OUT
TEXAS – OUT
The Big 12, unlike the Big Ten, has a bit more for us to unpack. Texas A&M, thanks to their wins over both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, have secured their playoff spot regardless of a win. The win just makes them Conference Champions. A loss, though, sets up for an interesting Bedlam matchup. Regardless, Bedlam has a lot of chips on the table, but as you can see above, there’s a few more should the Longhorns stun the Aggies.
AUBURN – Conference Champions with WIN
BAMA – In with WIN, Conference Champions with WIN AND Miami LOSS
MIAMI – Conference Champions with WIN AND Auburn LOSS, In with WIN
FLORIDA STATE – In with WIN AND Auburn LOSS
CLEMSON – OUT
FLORIDA – OUT
Leave it to the SEC to be the most chaotic of the three. It could still be worse than the current set up, though, and with this week Auburn can win the SEC for the second time in their CFSL career, only needing to defeat their rivals to do so. To add a bit of context for Alabama’s Conference Champion hopes, Miami’s loss would make Auburn the runner-ups in the SEC, thus guaranteeing a playoff spot for the Tigers. For those wondering, Florida State’s scenario gives the Seminoles head-to-head wins over both Auburn and Miami, making them the runner-up in the conference.
There you have it, the playoff scenarios going into week eight. This is what leads to a guaranteed playoff spot, what keeps a team’s fate from falling into the hands of the voters, and that sets up for a dramatic finish to the regular season.