Oklahoma has moved up one spot to No. 8 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday evening. Oklahoma State, who will face the Sooners on Dec. 3 in Norman, is ranked 10th this week.
A few thoughts on this week’s rankings:
- Watch out for Colorado - The Buffs are coming off a win against now-No. 23 Washington State, and they have potential wins against No. 22 Utah and No. 5 Washington (provided the Huskies beat WSU) ahead of them. If they make it through that gauntlet, would that push the Buffs ahead of OU? They’d have a very strong case.
- Sooners need help from Leach - Current WSU head coach and former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mike Leach could help the Sooners immensely by taking out the fifth-ranked Huskies this weekend. If Washington loses this week, the Pac 12 will have a tough time getting a team into the playoff (since another win over WSU wouldn’t help the Buffs very much). If Washington falls this weekend and Clemson loses in the ACC Championship (which could definitely happen), the drama in the Big Ten will become a lot less important.
- Drama awaits in the Big Ten - If Ohio State beats Michigan, Penn State (provided they take care of Michigan State) will play for a Big Ten title. In that instance, Ohio State will be sitting at home during championship weekend knowing that they’ll likely make the playoff. The winner of the Big Ten Championship game between Penn State and (likely) Wisconsin would have a better case to make the playoff than Oklahoma.
If Michigan beats Ohio State, Penn State is likely out of the discussion. But a two-loss Ohio State would likely still have a better case than Oklahoma due to the fact that they would have the same record (provided Oklahoma beats Okie State) and a head-to-head win on OU’s home field. Would the CFP committee agree with me in that instance? Probably, but who the hell knows?
What if Michigan beats Ohio State and then loses to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game? How many teams would have a better case than OU? In all of these scenarios, it’s likely that the Big Ten has two schools with a better case for the CFP than OU. So what is OU’s dream scenario? Well, Penn State would have to lose at home to Michigan State this weekend, and Ohio State would have to beat Michigan. Ohio State would then have to defeat Wisconsin in the conference championship game. In that scenario, OU would only need a loss from Washington or Clemson instead of needing both to lose. If one of them did end up losing, the CFP bracket would likely be 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Clemson or Washington and 4. Oklahoma. Then we’d be forced to watch Oklahoma play Bama in the Peach Bowl, and I’d have an excuse to go to the Clermont.