Can Ohio State make the CFP? Possible path of the loser in the “game”

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In 2022, both Michigan and… Ohio State He made the College Football Playoff, the first time in four-team playoff history that two Big Ten teams reached the postseason in the same year.

Other teams from the same conference have made the playoffs on multiple occasions, including Alabama and Georgia exiting the SEC in 2017 and 2021 and Clemson and Notre Dame (participating as an SEC member) in 2020.

With both No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan entering “The Game” undefeated — as they did in 2022 — Saturday’s loser between the Wolverines and Buckeyes will likely still be able to make the playoff as a one-loss affair. a team. But what other outcomes would need to occur to make this a reality?

Here’s a look back at how multiple teams from the same conference have reached the playoffs in the past, and what would need to happen for Michigan and Ohio State to repeat the feat for the second year in a row:

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Ohio State in 2022

In 2022, one Ohio State team with one loss made the CFP. Other conference champions in 2022 are…

  • Big Ten champion Michigan (13-0)
  • SEC champion Georgia (13-0)
  • Big 12 champion Kansas State (10-3)
  • ACC champion Clemson (11-2)

The Wolverines and Bulldogs were the only conference champions to make the playoff, with TCU — which had only one loss on the season, in the Big 12 title game — making it as well.

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Had USC (11-2) not lost the Pac-12 title game to Utah, Ohio State likely would have been eliminated. Whether a similar scenario is possible with multiple conference champions coming off two losses will become clear after rivalry week.

As it stands, the Power Five conference tournament games will be played as follows:

  • Administrative Coordination Committee: Florida State vs. Louisville
  • Big 12: It is determined
  • The Big Ten: Michigan/Ohio State vs. Iowa State
  • Pac 12: Washington vs. Oregon/Arizona
  • second: Georgia vs. Alabama

Of that group, Oregon (10-1), Alabama (10-1) and Louisville (10-1) could be eliminated by forfeit; No two-loss team has made it to the CFP in the four-team era. Likewise, Iowa State (9-2) has already been eliminated after losing to Penn State and Minnesota.

The Big 12 has yet to determine its champions, but only Texas (10-1) can legitimately compete in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma (9-2), Oklahoma State (8-3), and Kansas State (8-3) were eliminated from the competition.

If Washington (11-0), Georgia (11-0) and Florida State (11-0) each win their respective conference champions, they will Possible The loser of the “game” will have a playoff, even if they suffer a loss during the week of competition, by virtue of winning their conference titles.

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Georgia in 2021

Georgia suffered its only loss of the season to Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship Game. At the time, there were five undefeated or unbeaten teams in the field, including Georgia, Alabama (12-1), and Michigan (12-1). Cincinnati (13-0) and Notre Dame (11-1). Notre Dame had a head-to-head loss to Cincinnati and there was no conference championship, eliminating them.

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In order for the loser of the “game” to enter, it would be advantageous for him to have five or fewer teams that are undefeated or have lost once.

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Notre Dame in 2020

Notre Dame (10-1) suffered a loss to Clemson (10-1) in the ACC Championship game in 2020, but it beat the Tigers earlier in the year during regular season play. This scenario is unlikely to apply to the loser of “The Game,” who will not get a chance to play for the conference title. The team that could help him is Washington, which will likely face Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.

The 2020 season was confusing due to the inconsistent number of games played between teams and conferences. But both Texas A&M and Indiana were eliminated from the playoffs as non-conference champions, with their only head-to-head loss coming to the conference champion — the scenario the loser of the game would find themselves in.

Alabama in 2017

Alabama, like the loser of “The Game,” was a one-loss team that did not play in the conference title game, losing its only game in the final week of the regular season.

Alabama had one loss to Big Ten Tournament champion Ohio State and one loss to Big Ten Tournament champion Wisconsin. Ohio State in 2023 has a similar pedigree to Alabama, and the committee has shown they respect the Buckeyes’ resume, ranking them No. 1 in the first two sets of the CFP rankings (just as they did Alabama).

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But, just like the other scenarios, it depended on having multiple losing conference champions.

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Can the Michigan-Ohio loser make the CFP?

The most obvious path for both Michigan and Ohio State is for multiple losing teams to win conference title games.

No two-loss team has ever been to a College Football Playoff. It will be the one-loss conference champion Possible Participate in the playoff before the loser of the “game”. The loser of the “game” would also have to worry about the possibility of Georgia or Washington losing the conference championship, as each would have a case.

This scenario, of course, would involve a great deal of chaos in the final two weeks, with several of the top eight teams in the CFP rankings losing one or more games during rivalry week and conference championship weekend.

If that happens, it would open the door for one of the Wolverines or Buckeyes to claim the CFP after losing in Rivalry Week. Ohio State’s tough schedule in non-conference play could help it overcome other one-loss teams, while Michigan will have a tougher time due to its weak schedule.

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