College Football Playoffs

The college football scene is alive and well at the end of November. With teams approaching their final games, the stage is set for another great bowl season. Coming into the third year of the College Football Playoffs, teams are waiting for the final poll to decide if they’re “in.” The final poll comes out on Sunday, December 4, and will decide the games played on Jan 1, and 2, of 2017.

The College Football Playoffs have been in place since the 2014-2015 season. The system has a specific way to choose who makes it to the playoffs. First, a committee chooses the top 25 teams. They choose these teams based on their record, their schedule, and overall talent of the team. From these 25 teams, the top four are chosen to go into the playoffs. The four teams play two semifinal games, and the winners play each other in a final championship game.   

The 7 teams in contention to win the championship this year have all had rollercoaster rides to get where they are now. The Alabama Crimson Tide are this year’s favorite to win it all. Coming off a great win against the Clemson Tigers in last year’s championship game, the Tide has kept rolling and finished the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record. Led by a stout defense and a more than capable quarterback in Jalen Hurts, Alabama is a sure bet to win it all as they haven’t moved from the No.1 ranking since 2015. Alabama plays No. 15 Florida this Saturday for the SEC Championship.

The next team with the most mojo coming into the College Football Playoffs is the Ohio State Buckeyes. Finishing with an 11-1 record the Buckeyes look to claim their second championship in 3 years. Led by their head coach Urban Meyer, and Senior quarterback J.T Barrett, the Buckeyes are on fire. Winning all of their games against ranked opponents, at the time of the game, the Buckeyes have a good resume with wins over #14 Oklahoma, #8 Wisconsin, #10 Nebraska, and #3 Michigan.  Ohio State is currently ranked No. 2 in the latest Playoff Poll.  

Runner up last year for the championship, the Clemson Tigers look for another shot at glory. Led by Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson the Tigers finished the regular season with a 11-1 record and are currently ranked No. 3 in the latest Playoff Poll. Clemson plays Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game this Saturday which could decide if they’re in or out of the playoffs.  

The last team currently ranked in the top 4 is the Washington Huskies. Finishing with an 11-1 record as well, the Huskies have had a magical season, but their playoff hopes might come to a close come Saturday. Washington plays Colorado on Saturday for the PAC-12 Championship. With a fairly weak schedule, Washington needs to win this game to get into the playoffs. If they don’t, three other teams might take their place.

The other three teams in contention all hail from the BIG-10. The Wisconsin Badgers, Penn State Nittany Lions, and Michigan Wolverines all are looking to sneak into the playoffs. The committee will have to make a tough choice if Clemson or Washington loses in their respected games this weekend. To increase their chances, Penn State and Wisconsin play each other in the BIG-10 Championship Game this Saturday.

This weekend will be a big weekend to decide the 2016-2017 College Football Playoffs.

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