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Column: Is it possible both Ohio State AND Michigan end up in the College Football Playoff?

There are some new top dogs in college football this season, and even after The Game, I believe there is a scenario where both teams make the CFP.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

What’s better than beating TTUN once per season? Doing it twice! This could happen, in my eyes, and hopefully Ohio State is on the winning side. Anyway, I believe that, with all of the chaos going on in college football, there is a scenario that the loser of The Game could still end up in the top four at the end of the season.

I truly believe this is going to be one of the closest Ohio State-Michigan games in the past decade. It is the most hyped up one in recent memory, and likely the biggest since the Game of the Century back in 2006. The Buckeyes want revenge, losing to their rivals for the first time since 2011, are going to be determined to absolutely demolish Jim Harbaugh and his minions. On the other hand, Michigan is going to want to prove that last year’s win wasn’t a fluke, and they can do it again.

Therefore, if my prediction is correct, and both teams battle it out and the final comes down to a last-second score, both teams could make the playoff. Clearly, as shown through the undefeated seasons, both teams are extremely talented (obviously more so OSU, according to the rankings). Let’s take a look at the entirety of the college football landscape and how this could happen.

Barring anything absolutely wild, No. 1 Georgia should finish the regular season undefeated. The Bulldogs will go on to play No. 6 LSU in the SEC Championship (did anyone see this coming?). LSU had two losses this season, one to Florida State and the other to No. 5 Tennessee — where they got blown out. So, unless LSU beats UGA in the conference championship, which is highly unlikely, they will be out and Georgia will be the clear No. 1 in the College Football Playoff.

So, with the first spot established, one has to presume that the winner of the Ohio State/Michigan takes No. 2, right? They will finish the regular season undefeated, and shouldn’t have trouble defeating whoever their opponent is in their conference championship, because the Big Ten West is an absolute disaster.

Let’s put a pin in where the loser of The Game will end up, and discuss TCU, who is also undefeated. The two remaining games on their schedule are against Baylor and Iowa State, which the Horned Frogs will probably win both. So, let’s go with the fact that TCU will finish the season undefeated as well. They will probably face Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship. K-State lost to Texas by a touchdown, and TCU only beat the Longhorns by a TD, so that should be an interesting matchup. When TCU and K-State played in the regular season, TCU took the cake 38-28.

I’m guessing the Big 12 Championship is going to be a close game, but TCU will squeak out with a win. If they lose, they will definitely be out of the playoffs. However, if they come out victorious with a close win, they are still in the conversation.

HOWEVER, let’s not forget about Tennessee. Their one loss came to UGA, in Athens, by two touchdowns. Remaining on their schedule is South Carolina and Vanderbilt, so the Vols should win both of those games, finishing their season 11-1. Tennessee has had to play Florida, No. 6 LSU and No. 8 Alabama, and came away with wins in all three times.

TCU has had to play Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas, and while also emerging victorious in each, these teams simply aren’t as good as the SEC teams on Tennessee’s schedule. Therefore, Tennessee will most likely make the playoff, should they win out, in either the three or four spot, in my opinion.

Therefore, that leaves the last spot to either TCU or the loser of OSU/Michigan. If TCU wins out, and then plays a close game in the conference championship, not coming out with a resounding win, I could definitely see either Ohio State or Michigan making the College Football Playoff above them. The one stipulation is The Game MUST be a close, hard-fought battle on both sides. Honestly, let’s hope TCU goes down so that Buckeye fans can get two chances to defeat TTUN in one season.


Do you think the loser of Ohio State/Michigan could still make the CFB Playoff?

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