College football chaos persisted and well into conference championship weekend.
Oklahoma State No 5 was the first major victim of the aforementioned chaos on Saturday, losing to No. 9 Baylor 21-16 in the Big 12 championship game – the last team left between the Cowboys and the College Ball station. their first stone.
The loss must be said to be very heavy for Mike Gundy and Co. The Cowboys remained in contention until the last minute after Baylor missed two goals on the field in the second half, but a fourth goal and a one-yard goal in their final strike sealed Baylor’s victory:
The Cowboys will also look at their revenue woes: They committed four times in the second half, including two interceptions, one loss, and one revenue drop to end the game. Perhaps the worst part of Saturday’s loss was that they weren’t able to get a win over redshirt first-back Blake Shapen – only a second game for the Bears. He completed 23 of 28 180-meter passes and three touchdowns.
Losing Oklahoma State means it is no longer in contention for the playoffs. But when the Cowboys lose, the other teams win. Here’s what it means for the other playoff-eligible teams at the end of the championship weekend:
Rank reflects Week 14 College football knockout round in the top 25
Previously ranked: 2
Wolverines are still in win-and-in mode as far as playoffs are concerned. As long as Jim Harbaugh and Co beat the Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium, then Michigan will be the second seed in the playoffs. A loss would almost certainly negate any chance the Wolverines had to make the playoffs, though perhaps it’s worth asking as to whether a win over Georgia in the SEC Championship and a loss to Cincinnati in the AAC championship pave the way for Michigan into the playoffs, even if it loses to the Hawkeyes on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are ranked 13th in the latest CFP polls, so it might be too big of a jump for them to make the playoffs, even if they win the congress championship against Michigan.
Previously ranked: 3
Oklahoma State’s defeat to Baylor creates a window – no matter how small – that the Crimson Tide could still face defeat against Georgia, depending on how close. If they play the Bulldogs ending in a game with one or two possessions, that – coupled with a loss by the Bearcats in the AAC championship game – has the potential to ensure a two-loss team makes it to the playoffs. At that point, will the committee choose 11-2 Alabama, 11-2 Michigan, 11-2 Big Ten Iowa champions or 11-2 Big 12 Baylor champions? A huge amount of chaos would need to take place between the final whistles of the Big 12 and Big Ten championships, but the Bears’ victory makes that scenario sound a little more absurd.
Previously ranked: 4
Bearcats have less wiggle room than their Power 5 counterparts. The Selection Committee will likely never accept a loss of a Team of 5, especially one that has not won the game championship. All that considered, Cincinnati must beat Houston 11-1 on Saturday if they want to have a chance at the playoffs. It’s a simple scenario that exists for any team that qualified for the knockout stages in dispute.
Notre Dame Cathedral (January 11)
Previously ranked: 6
The Fighting Irish had to jump for joy after Baylor’s win in the Big 12 championship. They knew the selection committee would never accept a two-loss team, even those that had won their championships. Furthermore, ESPN’s Heather Dinich on Saturday report that the CFP selection committee determined Brian Kelly’s absence from the team – he’s currently LSU’s head coach – would have nothing to do with how the Committee ranked Fighting Irish. If history holds, then Notre Dame should move up a notch to #4, assuming Alabama loses the SEC championship game. The Crimson Tide is the last team left between Notre Dame and the second consecutive playoff berth. Not bad work for a team that didn’t even play in the weekend championship conference.
Previously ranked: 9
The Bears have to break through history – no team has lost two games to make it to the playoffs – if they want to make it to the playoffs. The Bears will need to jump five teams to make it to the top four, with #2 Michigan, #3 Alabama and #4 Cincinnati remaining to compete. Will lose to each team just to have a chance. However, if the chaos goes well and really erupts on Saturday, who can say that a two-game losing Big 12 champion can’t make it to the knockout stages? Until then, look for Bears that don’t climb higher than either of the first two teams.
Previously ranked: 13
Iowa is currently on a boat similar to Baylor – assuming the Hawkeyes tow what the Bears can do at AT&T Stadium. The Hawkeyes probably took a step too big to make, even with Saturday’s win. But a win over the second-placed Wolverines would be the second-biggest win of the day. Let’s say the Hawkeyes win big while #1 Georgia wins and #4 Cincinnati loses. The Hawkeyes will then have a significantly better chance of making it to the playoffs. Anything less than that might be too much for Iowa to make it to the knockout stages. Even with all of that, it might be too much to pass up for the Hawkeyes.
Oklahoma (February 11)
Previously ranked: 5
Oklahoma State’s playoff opportunity was gone. Because the Cowboys were victims of Saturday’s chaos, there’s no way they could benefit from any other Michigan, Alabama or Cincinnati losses. The question is where did the Cowboys fall from here. They will likely remain in the top 10 – perhaps swap places with the 9th-ranked Bears – and vie for a game of 6 bowls on New Year’s Day. If Baylor somehow makes it to the playoffs, then Oklahoma State will be looking at a potential Sugar Bowl landing. However, if Baylor is eliminated, the Bears will likely get a Sugar Bowl landing while the Cowboys advance to the Fiesta Bowl, perhaps. Not a bad way to end the season, but there’s still a lack of expectations for Gundy and Co.