November 29th, 2016 at 7:33 PM ^

It all depends on how much they care about conference championships. If they really make that a top priority, Clemson and Washington should hop OSU if they win, and potentially the B10 winner.

If they don't care that much, and just look at it as another good game on your schedule, UM and the B10 winner will both have 2 losses, UM will have a head to head win, and much better wins overall.

Blue Durham

November 29th, 2016 at 8:17 PM ^

That is why there is a P5 and the other conferences. The strength of the conference matters, not the actual championship.

That is why Ohio State is #2, and I don't think they will fall regardless of what happens this weekend.

Also, the committee will not take a P5 conference champ with 1 additional loss over a 11-1 Ohio State from the strongest conference (with their additional blow-out of Oklahoma in Norman).

Ohio State is not only in but is highly unlikely to budge from #2.


November 29th, 2016 at 8:48 PM ^

That wins over good teams matter more than losses.
As far as how it ends up, ill wait until its over to go on a rant. But if clemson and washington both win and psu wins the b1g the committee will find themselves walking a slippery slope if they choose osu over psu bc theyre saying that the head to head win and conference championship mean nothing.

Blue Durham

November 29th, 2016 at 9:20 PM ^

you're expecting OSU to drop to #5 without playing.

You are expecting OSU to drop below teams that have more losses and a worse resume.

You are expecting the committee to drop OSU below the "eyeball" test that tells them that they are easily a top-4 team, if not the #2 team that they are clearly stating they are right now.

All I have detailed in my posts what Brian didn't but alluded to in his post on Monday.

The way things are aligned, Michigan is not getting into the the CFP, period.

It sucks, that that is what it is.


November 29th, 2016 at 11:38 PM ^

Lol they definitely have a chance to get in. Ranked 5th, with the chairman of the cfp comittee saying that the margin between washington and Michigan is razor-thin. If Washington does lose, regardless of the outcome of PSU-Wisco, we will then have wins over 2 conference champions, and a 2OT loss on the road to the #2 team in the country. Plus Bama-Michigan ratings>>>Bama-PSU/Wisco blowout ratings. 


November 30th, 2016 at 1:58 AM ^

Or really even psu if they win.
And yes. The committee should drop osu below penn st if they win, precisely because they are not playing saturday. Its their own fault theyre not playing saturday, this isnt their bye week, this is championship game week. just like its michigans fault theyre not playing sat.
If the committee wants to go by the eye test of whos playing best right now, than thats even easier. Bama, osu, um, and usc. But i dont see that happening either.
So yes. My choice, should clemson, washington, and penn state win saturday would be for ohio state to be the 5 even though penn state has an extra loss because penn state beat them already and will have a championship.


November 29th, 2016 at 11:02 PM ^

This goes against everything they've ever established with precedence or said publically.  The strength of the conference as a whole does not matter in-and-of itself.  Only a teams performance against the schedule it plays matters, so there is some correlation with the strength of the conference, but since not all teams play each team in their conference, they don't consider the strength of the conference at all.  They repeat that mantra all the time.

And your insistence that OSU won't budge from #2 (which is probably correct) is the exact reason we certainly have a chance to stay ahead of the PSU-Wisconsin winner.  Because it's about the whole resume and head to heads in addition to conference championships.  

Blue Durham

November 29th, 2016 at 11:21 PM ^

Think about it.

If conference championships matter (which they state), how do you take both Michigan AND Ohio State over their conference champion?

Ohio State is in over Michigan, period. They have 1 less loss and won the head-to-head. There is no getting around that.

Alabama is in, period.

For Michigan to get in, the committee has to dismiss THREE OTHER conference champions. How does that fit in with everything that has been stated regarding criteria?

Fine, Michigan won head-to-head against presumptive conference champ Colorado. But the ACC and Big12 champs? Didn't play them.

Do you really think that the NCAA will be OK with alienating all 3 of the other, unrepresented conferences under the incredibly subjective umbrella of "well, we selected the 4 best teams, and 3 were from the Big Ten"?

Not a chance.

kevin holt

November 29th, 2016 at 11:57 PM ^

Ok/Ok St aren't making it. So the other is Clemson and they would be in. Last champ we either stomped to a pulp (PSU) or at least beat head to head (Wisconsin). If they value head to head and if they use their eyes then we're in.


November 30th, 2016 at 4:59 PM ^

Iowa and MSU were in the conference championship last year and both got CRUSHED in their bowl games.  They were not the 2 best teams in the conference.

The B1G needs to realign and divide the talent better between divisions!


November 29th, 2016 at 7:34 PM ^

The committee isn't dumb. No one wants to watch Alabama dick stomp Wisconsin or PSU, that would be a rehash of last year. Michigan won the head to head over both. They are clearly the better team of the three. They are 3-1 against the top 10. Wisconsin or PSU would both be 15+ point underdogs. The ratings would already be bad enough with the NYE time slot.


November 29th, 2016 at 8:07 PM ^

IMHO whomever gets the benefit of the #4 seed is going to get soundly beaten by Bama.  I don't see any team below #3 making a competitive game with Bama.  I think it would take an athletic QB like Jackson/Louisville to give them a good game, but Louisville has no chance to get in.  Barrett & OSU or Watson & Clemson may be able to hang with them for a bit, but I don't see any o-line that can handle Bama's d-line, which means the QB has to be able to make plays on his own.  UM, PSU, Wiscy, Washington don't seem to fit that bill.


November 29th, 2016 at 10:34 PM ^

Did you happen to adjust for sacks? I'm wondering if these QBs accumulated a lot more yards running but sacks end up skewing things a bit.


Edit: Here's the sack adjusted rushing yards. Doesn't really change the story.


  • 2015 - Chad Kelly - 33 rushing yards (+12)

  • 2014 - Cardale Jones - 64 rushing yards (+21)

  • 2014 - Bo Wallace - 37 rushing yards (+5)

  • 2013 - Trevor Knight - 12 rushing yards (+5)



November 29th, 2016 at 9:36 PM ^

Our defense may be able to make it a low scoring game for a while, but our o-line would be dominated by Bama's d-line.  We wouldn't be able to run.  We'd have to throw, Speight would get pressured regularly, then we'd get turnovers, sacks, or negative plays.  We'd have lots of 3-and-outs, which would put pressure on our defense, which would eventually wear down and get beat in the second half.  That's just a casual fan's observation/opinion, but who knows...it's college football.


November 29th, 2016 at 11:43 PM ^

No, he's right. We saw our D wear out against OSU. We've seen our offense grind to a halt not only against Ohio State but also against Iowa and, to a lesser extent, against Wisconsin.

Alabama hasn't given up a touchdown in a month.

That includes mega-games against LSU and Auburn. Gripe about their offenses if you want, but Bama hasn't given up a TD to anybody since October. 

We have a terrific team with the best defense we've seen in a generation. Alabama looks like an all-time team.

And their offense is pretty good, btw. They have the O-Line we wish we had. 

If we somehow played them it would take a miracle to win. Not impossible, but unlikely.


November 30th, 2016 at 1:14 AM ^

wouldn't be favored.  They definitely would be.  But our defense could and should wreak nearly as much havoc on their offense.  I'm not sure our defense necessarily "wore out" as much as we got conservative as Brian mentioned in his article. But yes, OSU plays with tempo (much moreso than Bama) and OSU was playing at home which definitely helps in the energy dept. Even still, we did not give up a TD to one of the best offenses in the country at their place (I'm not counting the 5 yard drive) in regulation. 

I do think Bama's defense would cause all kinds of problems for us, but it's not inevitable that we turn it over excessively.  Protect the ball, hit some quick passes and a deep ball or two and we're in business. You've seen what Harbaugh can do to an elite SEC defense with a month to prepare.

I just don't think it'd require a miracle unless you think overcoming 70/30, maybe 80/20 odds is a miracle (miracles to me are like 5 percent chance or less).


November 30th, 2016 at 7:10 AM ^

Yes, although UM has a better defense than both of those teams, they matchup better with Bama.  Both Clemson and OSU have offenses that don't require as good of a performance from their o-line, in part because of their team speed and in part because of the mobility of their QBs.  Our offense requires good play by our o-line to be effective, which is why for parts of or entire games against Wiscy, Iowa, and OSU we didn't move the ball at all.  Against Bama our o-line would get mauled.  Clemson and OSU wouldn't have as much of a problem getting first downs as we would.  Their weaknesses on defense would be mitigated because Bama isn't great offensively.  It's just a better matchup in my opinion


November 29th, 2016 at 9:02 PM ^

so I don't know what the committee members said.  

But I would guess (not saying this is right, just what I can imagine them saying) they put Michigan at 5 because they just lost a tight rivalry game on the road in 2OT, while Washington thumped their rival.  They conveniently put Wisconsin and Penn State right behind them, saying "Yeah, you lost to Michigan."  But whoever wins will jump Michigan into the playoffs if Washington or Clemson lose, and if the top 4 hold remains, they can leave Mchigan at 5 to possibly set a precendent.  


November 29th, 2016 at 9:22 PM ^

I watched as much as I could stomach.  Danny Kannell was the elad cheerleader of the three against M.  They were all saying that M beat them early and that PSU was missing a lot of significant contributors.  Also that M lost 2 of 3 while both PSU and UW are on 8 game streks (6 for UW).  One guy said M only beat CU because Luifau got hurt - which is when I gagged and turned it off...

Three of the four hosts were against M, while the 4th said M was still alive with an outside shot.  The few minutes I listened to were foul tasting... 


November 29th, 2016 at 9:28 PM ^

Why?  The rankings are a right now choice, but psu and wiscy have another game to make a statement so next weeks can look different. He specefically said the gap from 4 to 7 was small.  The 4 criteria are head to head, sos, common opponents and conference champion.

One of psu/wisconsin will have the conference champion mark, michigan will have the head to head vs either. Michigan has sos over psu for sure, its close with wiscosin but probably that to.  In terms of common opponents Michigan beat maryland and rutgers by more, psu beat iowa, indiana, msu and osu by more with a possibility of wisconsin.  On those 4 criteria with psu it would be 2-2, probably 3-1 for Michigan compared to wisconsin but a closer head to head win is a complicating factor. 


November 29th, 2016 at 10:34 PM ^

This is probably said below, but to go along with this the chairman of the committee (or whoever that was) that discussed the rankings with the ESPN crew blatantly said, and made a point to say, "The margin between Washington and Colorado is extremely slim."

He went out of his way to say that, and what that tells me is that they might possibly even look at the margin of victory between Washington and Colorado as a deciding factor if Washington does win.

He also made it clear that their objective is to pick the best four teams period, and they are looking at it from every angle. It's going to be a close one, folks.

Blue Durham

November 29th, 2016 at 8:11 PM ^

Alabama and Ohio State are in, regardless of what happens.

Whomever wins the Big Ten championship, the committee is NOT going to take 2 teams from a conference where NEITHER is the conference champion. NOT going to happen.

The only way Michigan makes it is a the 3rd Big Ten team. That is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Michigan has been issued cement boots at #5. They will not rise, they will not fall. They will remain #5.


November 29th, 2016 at 8:34 PM ^

It is obvious to anyone who has a brain that Michigan and OSU are the two best teams in the Big Ten. There was a very exceptional set of circumstances that led to Penn state getting in over each of those two teams. It would be way, way simpler for the committee to explain why Michigan got in over Penn state than the other way around.

So then you're left with Colorado, who lost to Michigan by 17, having to jump us. It's hard to imagine that happening as well.

All of this is assuming PSU beats Wisconsin and either Clemson or Washington lose, of course.

Blue Durham

November 29th, 2016 at 9:40 PM ^

if Michigan is one of the 4 best teams.

The committee has 5 power conferences that have a vested interest in the teams that are chosen. With only 4 slots and 5 conferences, they are already in a position to nuke 1 of the conferences. By taking 2 teams they are now nuking 2 conference champions.

In effect they are now alienating not 1 but 2 conferences.

They don't want to do that.

By taking Ohio State (who they are obviously going to take) and Michigan they are saying that conference championships DON'T FUCKING MATTER BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T TAKE THOSE TWO TEAMS' CONFERENCE CHAMPION.

And that makes no sense.

You can't have it both ways.

If you value conference champions, Michigan fails - the Big Ten Champion HAS TO BE CHOSEN OVER MICHIGAN, let alone other conference champions.

If you value record, OSU, ALABAMA, and any other 1-loss team has to be chosen over Michigan.

The only basis to chose Michigan is the subjective, eye-ball test. Is Michigan a top-4 team? YES THEY ARE!

And I think they have proven that.

But is that defensible give the nature of the of politics of the NCAA CFP committee.