Chaos reigned supreme Saturday as #2 Clemson, #3 Michigan and #4 Washington all suffered defeats at the hands of teams to whom they were all double digit favorites. Just as surprising however is that it really changed very little in terms of rankings or projections for the college football playoff. All three teams are still in contention and control their own destiny….win out, and they are in. What is most interesting is that the weekend results hurt Ohio State more than it helped them, in spite of the fact it temporarily vaulted the Buckeyes to #2 in the nation. Had Ohio State won out by defeating an undefeated Michigan team, they would have cliched the Eastern Division title of the Big 10. With Michigan losing, it creates a potential 3 way tie in which Ohio State would lose to Penn State in a tiebreaker (the Nittany Lions beat the Buckeyes earlier this year). All is not lost for the Buckeyes however….if Penn State wins the division, but loses to Wisconsin (assuming the Badgers are in), then the CFP committee is faced with choosing between an 11-1 Ohio State and a 11-2 Wisconsin with the Buckeyes holding an edge because of a head to head win by Ohio State. Would the committee choose a two loss conference champion over a one loss team they had lost to in the regular season? Who knows, but it would be a tough choice and a very interesting scenario. A true nightmare for the committee.
Of all the losing contenders, Clemson still has the easiest path. The Tigers are virtually a shoe in not to lose another game. Washington on the other hand must still face a very hot Washington State in the Apple Cup, and a good team (Colorado, Utah or rematch with USC) should the Huskies reach the Pac 12 Championship game. Michigan must still contend with Ohio State, in Columbus no less.
Still a lot of football to go and as we know…..on any given day.