There's only a few games that truly matter this week, and coincidentally, there's only a few games that are actually being played. As a result, we're going to focus on one game that takes place later today as well as four games that will be played tomorrow. While the general purpose of this is to highlight the possibility for mass hysteria, there is one game where we will not be hoping that the higher ranked team loses. If you've been paying attention to 1) the college football schedule and 2) this website this week, that game is already very obvious to you.
As always, all times are Central and all lines are courtesy of Bovada.
#2 Oregon (11-1) vs #7 Arizona (10-2)
When: 8pm on Fox
Line: Oregon -14.5
Chances Of Losing: Pretty great, actually
Possible Chaos Level: Cats and dogs living together
The Wildcats already ruined Arizona State's chances at the playoff, so they're definitely not going to be against dumping the Ducks on their butts. While Arizona is #7 in the rankings, I don't think a win here would propel them into the top four on it's own. Maybe with some help, though?
Oregon's hosed if they lose, though. Everyone's hosed if they lose, though. But, what happens if everyone loses? Boy, that would be fun, and probably the only people that would be happy about it would be those decked out in Baylor green. This is the Pac 12 Championship Game, and it's taking place at Levi's Stadium in the San Francisco Bay area. I would imagine that the stands will have a decidedly Oregon green tint to them.
#1 Alabama (11-1) vs #16 Missouri (10-2)
When: 3pm on CBS
Line: Alabama -14.5
Chances of Losing: Dumber things have happened, but don't hold your breath
Possible Chaos Level: Tricksy
It's possible that if Mizzou somehow swings the upset in the SEC Championship Game that Alabama will stay in the playoff. CBS' Gary Danielson is apparently advocating for Mizzou to get into the playoff as the SEC champion, but that is bananas. If they wanted a playoff where the conference champs go, they would have assembled that. This is picking the four BEST teams, and no one who lost to Indiana is "best" at anything, other than "losing to Indiana."
My gut says that as long as Bama wins or loses close, they remain in the group of four. I don't expect that to happen, though. If Missouri gets a blowout win? All bets are off.
#3 TCU (10-1) vs Iowa State (2-9)
When: 11am on ABC
Line: TCU -34.5
Chances of Losing: Not on your life, my Hindu friend
Possible Chaos Level: Take my penknife, my good man.
With the knowledge that Baylor's already pissed off at them for being ranked ahead of them, there's almost zero chance that TCU screws this up. They're going to do everything in the power to pour it on against the Cyclones to make their final bid to stay in the picture.
#4 Florida State (12-0) vs #11 Georgia Tech (10-2)
When: 7pm on ABC
Line: FSU -4
Chances Of Losing: Probably not very good
Possible Chaos Level: Tallahassee will probably burn.
Forget losing, what happens if FSU needs a final minute touchdown drive to win, while the teams in front of them all win, as do Ohio State and Baylor? Does the committee have the stones to boot the undefeated and reigning champions out of the playoff? I don't think they do, but since the Noles have been falling the last two weeks, this is now a scenario that we have to consider.
If FSU loses, and given their proclivity for playing close games, that seems to be a pretty good chance here, they're finished. Either Ohio State or Baylor takes their spot (as long as they both win), and there's no question about it. All eyes on you, Jameis.
#5 Ohio State (11-1) vs #13 Wisconsin (10-2)
When: 7:17pm on Fox
Line: Wisconsin -4
As you can guess, I'm omitting the Chances Of Losing/Possible Chaos Level lines from this entry, because I want Ohio State to win the game. I know, I know, it flies in the face of everything that I hold dear in terms of wanting to see the armies of anarchy descend upon college football. But there is a higher principle at work here, and that principle is simple: NEVER. CHEER. FOR. WISCONSIN. IN. ANYTHING.
Plus, technically, with J.T. Barrett sidelined due to injury, Ohio State is actually the underdog here, at least from a gambling perspective.
HONORABLE MENTION: #6 Baylor is hosting #9 Kansas State at 6:45pm on ESPN. This game probably won't mean much, but a Baylor win could make things verrrrrry interesting.