College Football Playoff Race: Week 12

Story posted November 20, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Neil Conley

The College Football Playoff picture still remains blurry as the 2021-22 college football regular season nears its end. Many questions are unanswered entering week 12 of the regular season. The teams with the greatest chances of making the College Football Playoff will be discussed.

Georgia

The Georgia Bulldogs remain undefeated and will likely finish the regular season unbeaten. Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech will be easy opponents and the chances of an upset are low.

The Bulldogs cruised through their schedule with the only close call coming against the Clemson Tigers. Georgia won 10-3 and since then has had little trouble with its opposition.

Georgia will compete in the SEC Conference Championship presumably against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs will earn a spot in the College Football Playoff regardless of a win or loss in the conference championship.

Georgia is in a great position moving forward given its accomplishments this season thus far.

Alabama

The Alabama Crimson Tide are currently the No. 2-ranked team in the country despite a loss to now-No. 16 ranked Texas A&M.

The No. 2 ranking shows the College Football Playoff committee’s confidence in Alabama.

Ohio State is the No. 4-ranked team with one loss so far this season against the No. 3-ranked team, Oregon. Cincinnati remains unbeaten.

Both Ohio State and Cincinnati should be ahead of Alabama in the rankings using logic, but the playoff committee sees the Crimson Tide’s accomplishments this season as enough to warrant the higher ranking.

Alabama is projected to face Georgia in the SEC Conference Championship game. The Crimson Tide will have a great chance of making the playoff with a win in the SEC championship.

If unsuccessful, Alabama will still have a decent chance of earning a spot in the playoff. The Crimson Tide’s reputation might make them the first two-loss team to compete in the College Football Playoff.

Oregon

The Oregon Ducks are the No. 3-ranked team in the country. The Ducks rank higher than Ohio State and Cincinnati even with some close victories and overall weak competition.

However, Oregon did travel to Columbus and defeat the Buckeyes 35-28. The win over Ohio State is crucial to Oregon’s ranking and the committee’s opinion of them.

Oregon should finish the regular season with an 11-1 record. Utah and Oregon State are Oregon’s remaining opponents. Utah might provide a scare for Oregon as it is the second best team in the Pac-12 conference.

Utah hosts as well making the environment for the contest potentially hostile. Both teams are in position within their divisions to meet again in the Pac-12 Championship, but a loss to Utah would surely end Oregon’s chance of earning a playoff spot. The Ducks will have a playoff spot if they beat Utah and Oregon State and win the Pac-12.

Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes are the No.4-ranked team in the country. Ohio State’s main blemish is its loss to Oregon. The Buckeyes have defeated every other opponent, but showed weakness against certain opponents such as Minnesota, Penn State and Nebraska.

The loss to Oregon combined with some weaker performances put Ohio State in its current position. The Buckeyes face two top-10 teams to finish their regular season.

Both Michigan State and Michigan will test the Buckeyes. An 11-1 record along with a win in the Big Ten conference championship will definitely provide the Buckeyes with a playoff spot.

Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Bearcats are the No. 5-ranked team in the country. The best Cincinnati can do is to finish the regular season undefeated.

A 12-0 record might not mean much to the playoff committee. A Group of Five team has never earned a playoff spot, even with a perfect record.

There is certainly a case for the Bearcats. If Alabama loses another game, the committee will most likely be deciding between the Crimson Tide and Bearcats as to which team will earn the last spot.


Neil Conley is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email nzc5252@psu.edu.