CFP possible scenarios for Michigan to get in

Submitted by Sauce Castillo on November 12th, 2015 at 10:19 AM

So what needs to take place in order for us to get in? Curious to hear others thoughts (and I need something to kill the time on this Thursday morning).  Here is what I think will guarantee Michigan a spot:

-Michigan wins out, msu loses to osu, we beat an undefeated osu team and then an undefeated Iowa team in the B1G championship

-Big 12 bludgeon each other and every team ends up with one loss.  Feasable since they all still have to play each other.

 - Notre Dame loses to Stanford

-Utah loses to UCLA, Arizona, or Colorado

-UCLA or USC beats Stanford in pac 12 title

I think this scenario would put Michigan in with Clemson, SEC champ, and probably 1 loss Big 12 champ.


Edit: Sorry fellow MGoUsers I did not realize this had been brought up in a diary



November 13th, 2015 at 12:51 AM ^

there is no scenario in which UM can get into the CFP. The reason is simple. Nothing can happen that would make anyone outside of the folks in AA think that UM is one of the best 4 teams. No matter what happens, there are no less than 10-12 teams that are better, and everybody knows this.

Blue Indy

November 13th, 2015 at 8:04 AM ^

Not saying we're necessarily top 4, but please list these 10-12 teams that you actually think would beat is on a neutral field. If we beat 2 top 5 teams (undefeated OSU and Iowa), people would know we're good enough. They would just have to vote based on our play and not necessarily our record.

Blue Since B.C.

November 12th, 2015 at 10:25 AM ^

FiveThirtyEight has us at a 7% chance of making the CFP.  

Rooting priority is definitely:

1) Just win, Michigan!

2) Chaos everywhere else

3) Need OSU and Iowa to go undefeated, so our end-of-season wins look that much more impressive to the committee by comparison (think OSU's dismantling of Wisco in the B1G Champ last year)

A lot of big if's, but really makes for an exciting November.


November 12th, 2015 at 11:14 AM ^

would but it alone would not be sufficient.  The possibility for chaos does exist looking at all of the remaining schedules, and we would need chaos to reign to get in even if we beat those two teams.  I thought our chances had gone up quite a bit with the State loss but the reality is that we are not getting in over a) any undefeated Big 12 team, b) any one loss Pac 10 team, c) a one loss ND team, d) a one loss Florida or LSU even if we did win out.  It is unfortunately still a very long shot.

However, and this is where you may see the HARBAUGH NO MERCY factor apply heavily.  On the off chance that we continue to improve and really are the team that looked like a deady ninja viper that beat NW and played against Rutgers this past Saturday, we could sneak past some unsuspecting teams if we put a serious hurt on both OSU and Iowa.  I am not saying it is likely, but if we blew the doors off of OSU at home and then like shut out Iowa in the title game, we could do what OSU did to TCU last year and just get in because the Committee can see that we are one of the four best teams without reference to record. Again, not likely, but possible.

So, in conclusion, run it up Coach.  Run it up high.

The Mad Hatter

November 12th, 2015 at 11:36 AM ^

when we went for two against Rutgers.  OSU got in last year by running it up against Wisconsin, so I could see something similar happening this year.

Also, if we're left out after beating two top five teams  (OSU and Iowa) right at the end of the year, I think we'll start hearing about expanding the playoff sooner rather than later.

Overall records are important, but I don't think that early season (especially the first game) losses should be treated the same as late season losses.  And that thing that happened with MSU should be treated like what it was.  A fluke, not a loss.

LS And Play

November 12th, 2015 at 11:01 AM ^

FiveThirtyEight also gives us over a 60% chance of making the playoff IF we do win out. I think their numbers gave us an 11% chance of winning the conference (and a 7% chance of making the playoff like you said), so if we take care of business it's really not that unlikely, at least according to them.


November 12th, 2015 at 11:25 AM ^

We're a two loss team, so our resume has to be immaculate (i.e. OSU and Iowa win out) and/or a lot of teams above us lose.

ND, and 1-loss champs from the Pac 12, Big 12, SEC, and ACC all seem to be potentially in front of us. (Although I think it's BS for ND to get the benefit of no championship game when the Big 12 doesn't)

LS And Play

November 12th, 2015 at 11:30 AM ^

The two biggest factors in my mind: ND and Stanford both finish with 2 losses (one of them is guaranteed to obviously), and the Big 12 champion finishes with at least one loss. If those two things occur I'd put our odds at around even. For example, an 11-1 Baylor who played Rice, NW State and Lamar in the non-con vs. an 11-2 Michigan who played Utah and BYU (both likely 10 win teams) would be an interesting conversation. 


November 12th, 2015 at 2:48 PM ^

then only two of the other five "league" representatives would need to fall behind us.  I highly doubt the committee is going to send two representatives from any Power 5 league this year.  Plus there is Notre Dame.

It's possible that we may be finishing 2-2 against a playoff team (Utah) and three other Top 10ish teams.  That would be a strong resume.

Look at all the certain and possible losses that may follow to knock the representative from two of the five other swimming lanes behind us:


• ND (plus another OOC games)
    • #4   ND 8-1 @ # 7 Stanf 8-1 11/28
    • #11 Fla 8-1 v #16 FSU 7-2 11/28

• B12
    • #6  Baylor 8-0 v  #12 Okla 8-1 11/14
    • #6  Baylor 8-0 @ #  8 OkSt 9-0 11/21
    • #6  Baylor 8-0 @ #15 TCU 8-1 11/27
    • #6  Baylor 8-0 v         Tex  4-5 12/05
    • #8   OkSt 9-0   v  #12 Okla 8-1 11/28
    • #15 TCU  8-1  @ #12 Okla 8-1 11/21

• SEC  
    • #2 Bama 8-1 @ #17  MsSt 7-2    11/14
    • #2 Bama 8-1 @         Aub 5-4     11/28
    • #9 LSU    7-1 v          Bert 5-4    11/14
    • #9 LSU    7-1 @         OleMS 7-3 11/21
    • #9 LSU    7-1 v          TAMU 6-3   11/28
    • CCG SEC West v #11 Fla 8-1     12/05

• PAC12
    • #10 Utah 8-1 v #19 UCLA 7-2 11/21
    • CCG #11 Stan 8-1 v PAC12 North 12/05

    • CCG #1 Clem 9-0 v ACC Coastal 12/05


November 12th, 2015 at 4:29 PM ^

The knock on the BIG12 isn't the conference championship game, it is their shitty SOS.  A championship game would bolster their resume.  NDs schedule is ranked in the top 10 and in some cases #1.  ND is #4 soley based on SOS and a 2 point loss in a road game with the backup QB starting his first game against the current #1 team.


November 12th, 2015 at 2:41 PM ^

The chances that we win the B1G are far lower than the chances that we get in given we win the B1G.

For comparison, the online Massey calculator gives us a 21% chance of winning our remaining three regular season games were they all to be played on neutral field. (Two are away and one is home, so good enough for government work.)  

91%(IU) * 76%(PSU) * 31%(OSU)………


BTW, the Massey calculator gives OSU a 72% chance of beating MSU on a neutral field.…


November 12th, 2015 at 11:28 AM ^

It's something we can always monitor, of course, but to be fair, if I go back and look at the sorts of threads being created on or around 11/12/2014, this is actually a very nice discussion in comparison to the ones that were being had around that time. Believe me, you would rather discuss this. 


November 12th, 2015 at 10:26 AM ^

That's pretty much the short of it. We could still get in if a Big 12 team goes undefeated, or they bludgeon each other and a team like Stanford doesn't lose again, but if 2 of the things you listed don't happen, we have no shot of getting in.

MI Expat NY

November 12th, 2015 at 10:30 AM ^

It's obviously a long shot still, as if the league favorites continue to win, we currently sit sixth in the pecking order (Clemson, Alabama, Big 12 champ, Notre Dame, Stanford, Michigan).  So we only would need to jump two.  Obviously, Stanford or Notre Dame will lose.  I think we'd jump either.  The easiest scenario is probably Stanford beating Notre Dame, losing to Oregon, and still winning the Pac 12.  But there are other possibilities.  Florida losing to FSU but beating Alabama in the SECCG.  Clemson slipping up and losing to UNC.  Oklahoma St. being the one-loss Big 12 champ.  Ole Miss winning out, Alabama losing to Auburn and Ole Miss winning the SEC.  Not all of those scenarios would automatically result in us getting in, but we'd be seriously in the conversation, especially if BYU continues to win.    

Maize in NC

November 12th, 2015 at 10:34 AM ^

1. Harbaugh awakens from very brief sleep

2. Takes vitamins (rare, of course)

3. Calls playoff committee

4. Hangs up

5. Playoff committee releases rankings and goes into hiding

6. Michigan is #'s 1-4



November 12th, 2015 at 10:36 AM ^

I'd love for this to happen, that we get in.  But seriously?  Not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but if we win out, I couldn't care less if we don't make it.  Season would be a HUGE success IMO.  Many predicted 6-8 wins for us.  We'd be 10-2, possibly 11-2 with a bowl win.  Who's going to really complain about that?  I, for one, would be all smiles considering we have a very bright future and this was just year one with a team that wasn't supposed to be near this good. 


November 12th, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

I'm not putting any hope in the playoff this year. But a B1G championship is still possible. That's what I'm hoping for. If UM miraculously wins a conference title in Harbaugh's first year, but misses out on the playoff, eh, whatever. It would still be the most successful season in a over a decade and far outstrip any reasonable expectations going into the season. Would also put UM into one of those high level bowls which would be a nice prize itself.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad