Dec 2, 2019

Alabama's loss sets up a final College Football Playoff scramble

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama's 48-45 loss to Auburn on Saturday knocked the Crimson Tide out of the playoff race — and made life a whole lot easier for the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Why it matters: Heading into conference championship weekend, four one-loss teams from three Power Five conferences — Georgia, Utah, Oklahoma and Baylor — have at least a shot of earning the final playoff berth behind undefeated LSU, Ohio State and Clemson.

Championships:

  • Pac-12: Utah vs. Oregon
  • Big 12: Baylor vs. Oklahoma
  • SEC: Georgia vs. LSU
  • Big Ten: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
  • ACC: Clemson vs. Virginia

Looking ahead: Ohio State and LSU are in no matter what happens this weekend, and Clemson is in as long as they beat Virginia. Assuming that happens...

  • If Georgia wins, they're in.
  • If Georgia loses and Oklahoma and Utah both win by similar margins, I'd give the slight edge to Utah (cue the hate mail from Sooners fans).
  • If Georgia loses, Baylor beats Oklahoma and Oregon beats Utah, Baylor could get in (though a two-loss Georgia team might still have a stronger case).

Elsewhere...

  • Fired: Missouri fired Barry Odom, Boston College fired Steve Addazio, USF fired Charlie Strong and Ole Miss fired Matt Luke.
  • Hired: Rutgers is bringing back former head coach Greg Schiano on an eight-year, $32 million contract.
  • Watch: Epic video of Heisman favorite Joe Burreaux.

Go deeper

CFP rankings: Utah to No. 5, top 4 unchanged

Screenshot: @CFBPlayoff (Twitter)

With the top four sports unchanged, Utah moved to No. 5 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, with Oklahoma moving to No. 6 and Baylor gaining two spots to No. 7.

The case for Utah: Four of the last five teams ranked No. 5 entering conference championship weekend went on to make the playoff. So a win over Oregon could put the Utes through.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

College football's conference championship weekend is here

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Conference championship weekend is upon us.

Why it matters: The action begins tonight in Santa Clara, Calif. and continues through Saturday, with the outcomes dictating who makes the playoff and who makes the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

Championship weekend clarifies football's final four

Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After three-plus months of chaos, championship weekend brought clarity to the top of college football, and delivered two semifinal matchups that are, at least stylistically, about as good as it gets.

The playoffs: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (+9.5): The Tigers and Sooners have the top two offenses in the country. No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson (-2.5): The Buckeyes and Tigers have the top two defenses in the country.

Go deeperArrowDec 9, 2019