CFSL Playoff Scenarios: Season 19, Week 8
By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)
Week Seven gave us a much clearer picture of the CFSL playoffs. There are a few conferences that have the top three locked in place no matter what happens in Week Eight. For that reason, I will not be doing scenarios by conference, since two conferences have none.
Those conferences are the Big 10 and the Big XII. No matter what happens this week, the top three for both conferences will not change from the order they are in right now. Here is a look at who clinched in each conference.
Now let’s look at the two conferences that are not completely decided already.
The ACC is not completely decided, but the top three teams are locked. With Notre Dame’s win over Clemson, the Irish lock up the third spot. The only change that can happen in Week Eight is who wins the conference and who is in second place.
Florida State will host Miami in the CFSL’s Rivalry Week in what has become a de facto ACC Championship Game. The winner will take the ACC Crown and the loser will take second. This will also have a massive impact on playoff seeding as well. No matter what happens, Florida State, Miami, and Notre Dame will be the three teams to take the ACC’s automatic bids.
Most of the conferences are settled (or mostly settled) already. The SEC is the lone conference with plenty of intrigue left for Week Eight. We will start by looking at who can still win the conference title.
Kentucky controls its destiny at this point. All they have to do is beat Tennessee and the SEC Crown is theirs. If Tennessee were able to pull off the major upset (which would be amazing for the storylines) then Alabama would become the front-runner in the conference. All they would have to do is win the Iron Bowl and they’d be SEC Champs.
If Auburn and Tennessee can both pull off upsets, things will get wild. There would be a three-way tie for first place. To make it even crazier, if Florida beats Georgia, the Gators would join the top teams. That means we would have a four-way tie for first place in the SEC.
I know this is unlikely to happen, but if it did the tie-breaker would be the point differential against common conference opponents. As it currently stands, Florida would win a four-way tiebreaker and Kentucky would be the team left hoping for a vote-in. Here is each team’s point differential against SEC teams:
|Point Differential Against Common Conference Opponents
Therefore, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU, and Florida are all still in the hunt for the SEC title.
These are also the four teams that still have a chance to clinch an automatic bid as well. Kentucky and Alabama are both in win-and-your-in scenarios. Since LSU’s rival is out-of-conference Clemson, they can’t improve or hurt their odds of making the playoffs. They are just rooting hard for Georgia this week.
That is because Florida is now in a win-and-your-in scenario. Since Florida beat LSU in Week Two, they have the tiebreaker over the Tigers. If the Gators win, they would tie LSU at 4-2 in the conference and LSU would be the fourth-place team in the conference.
All four teams could be the fourth team hoping for a vote-in.
Georgia has been eliminated from earning the automatic bid. However, a win over Florida (and what they have already accomplished this season) would make them a strong contender for a vote-in spot. A loss could knock them out of that race.