How conference championships can shake up the playoff

9:00 AM ET

When the 10 FBS commissioners and

The four teams in the College Football Playoff will be unveiled Sunday on Selection Day. First, there are conference championship trophies to be handed out.

If the winners of the ACC and SEC title games are a lock, what other teams are in play for the final two spots in the CFP? And is there a way both Alabama and Ohio State make it?

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If Auburn wins: The Tigers become the first two-loss team in the CFP semifinals after beating a top-10 Georgia team for the second time.

Rooting interest: If Alabama and its fans can somehow bring themselves to root for their rival, an Auburn win would mean, that at the very least, Alabama could say it’s only loss was to the SEC champs.

5. No. 12 Stanford (9-3) vs. No. 10 USC (10-2)

(Friday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN App)

If Stanford wins: There’s no way a three-loss Stanford team is getting in the CFP. According to FiveThirtyEight, neither Stanford nor USC will have better than a 12 percent chance of making the CFP, even with a title game win.

If USC wins: The two-loss Pac-12 champs would at least be considered by the selection committee, but their win over a three-loss Stanford team would be the least impressive of the Power 5 title game winners, as the Big Ten, SEC and ACC championship games all feature matchups between top-10 opponents. USC is one of three currently ranked teams that rank outside the top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency (along with Northwestern and Fresno State).

Rooting interest: The New Year’s Six Bowls. The displaced Pac-12 champ would head to one of the Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowls, which take into consideration geography and fan interest when making selections. The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl would be the most likely destination for either team.

No. 20 Memphis (10-1) at No. 14 UCF (11-0)

(Saturday at noon ET on ABC and ESPN App)

If Memphis wins: It would earn the New Year’s Six bowl bid as the committee’s highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion.

If UCF wins: Same as the Tigers, it’s about earning a bid to a New Year’s Six bowl, but there’s a greater, perhaps more frustrating, significance if UCF finishes the season undefeated. The Knights moved up only one place in this week’s rankings and Hocutt has stated repeatedly that strength of schedule is holding them back.

According to FPI, UCF’s schedule strength is ranked No. 90, lowest among top 25 teams.

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Via:: NDTV – Sports


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