Scenario to get UM into playoff

Submitted by umfan83 on November 23rd, 2015 at 1:03 PM

Yes its a long shot but this is IMO Michigan's most liklely path to the playoff:

  • UM over OSU
  • PSU over MSU
  • Iowa over Nebraska (they can't lose this)
  • UM over Iowa
  • Clemson over UNC (concede spot 1 to Clemson so that UNC isn't a threat)
  • Ok St over Oklahoma (think 2 loss Michigan can get in over 1 loss Ok least more likely than 1 loss OU)
  • TCU over Baylor
  • Alabama should probably beat Florida too unless Florida loses to FSU. I could easily see them taking 2 loss Bama over UM to get 2 SEC teams in there.

ND vs Stanford is interesting.  I think they could get in both ways, but it would be harder if ND won.  I think the strength of Michigan over OSU/Iowa is bigger than Stanford over ND/P12S champ.  Plus Northwestern is a common opponent and we know how that worked out for both teams.

This would likely put Michigan over MSU (hurt from not making BTT), Oklahoma (fresh loss to Ok St), OSU (2 straight losses and no BTT) and Florida (fresh loss and hasn't looked all that impressive). 
Clemson and Alabama would be playoff locks meaning UM would be competing for 2 spots with:
1 loss ND (unless they lose to Stanford)
1 loss Ok St
1 loss Iowa (who they just beat)
2 loss Baylor
ND is almost certainly in if they beat Stanford and the above scenario occurs. If they do win, then they could still get in over the other 2 based on 2 very good wins to close the season, and general committee hatred for the Big 12 and their lack of title game.
Am I missing anything?  Other than PSU/MSU, the other games not involving Michigan either require favored teams to win or at worst 50/50 games (in the case of TCU/Baylor and OK State/OU given that both are home games).
It's unlikely but until PSU loses to Sparty, I will not give up hope!


Amaizing Blue

November 23rd, 2015 at 1:06 PM ^

I thought we had a 10-15% chance of getting there if OSU beat MSU.  We still would have needed a lot of things to go right, but it was reasonable enough to consider.  Now, with MSU only needing to beat PSU to shut us out of the picture...not so much.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:07 PM ^

When will this stop? We WILL NOT BE IN THE are delusional if you think we even have a chance..."so you're saying there's a chance"? NO! Literally ZERO chance! IBD!


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:19 PM ^

Exactly so its not a 0 chance.  The scenario I posted does not require a bunch of upsets or improbable things happening.  The only major upset is PSU over MSU, which based on how sluggish MSU looks at times is not out of the question.

I can understand 'playoff scenario fatigue' but I definitely think its still a possibility, albeit not a strong one.  Keep the faith guys.  


There are 2 undefeated teams (one we have a chance to leap by beating H2H)

There are 8 one loss teams.  Of those 8:

-1 we can knock out on our own (OSU)

-3 are playing games that they will likely be underdogs in (ND at Stanford, Florida v Alabama, Oklahoma State v Oklahoma)

That leaves 4 teams (5 with UM) for 3 spots.  Bama has 1, so 4 teams for 2 spots. MSU has to lose to PSU obviously, so 3 teams for 2 spots if that one upset occurs.

MI Expat NY

November 23rd, 2015 at 1:17 PM ^

I agree we don't need to continue having threads like this, but I don't agree with you... at all.  

Win the Big Ten and Stanford beats Notre Dame.  That's all it takes.  Pick a final four that doesn't include Michigan under that scenario?  Baylor, Clemson, and Iowa would be the only possible one-loss teams left out.  Clemson would be the only one with a case.  Michigan's conference championship and the fluky nature of the MSU loss would propel us into the playoffs over any one of those teams.  Stanford wouldn't eclipse us as the Northwestern game becomes the trump card.  


November 23rd, 2015 at 3:40 PM ^

I don't think we're getting to a playoff and would put those chances very, very low. However, that's mostly because I don't think we're going to win the B1G championship because I don't think Sparty loses.

If you think there's a chance that we win the B1G championship, then you should think there's a chance we make the playoff. Someone will likely get in with two losses or one loss and no championship. Why not Michigan in that scenario?

Again, I don't think this happens because we have to win two very tough games and MSU has to pull the ultimate Sparty Nooo, but I don't think it's delusional to consider how this might play out. Wishful, yes, but there's a lot of football left.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:09 PM ^

It isn't happening, the only trump card we had was beating two top 5 teams back to back and even then it would be an iffy argument to get in over a 1 loss team.  At this point utah has a shot at not finishing outside the top 25 and osul could drop pretty far with another loss.

It also involves msu losing next, if this week taught as anything is that trusting anyone else to do your work for you is going to end in dissapointment.  Beat osu and see what happens, not worth worrying about what other teams do until msu losses.  Especially since if msu wins I don't want them in the playoff so I would end up rooting for opposit outcomes.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:10 PM ^

Guys, unless Sparty drops to Penn State we aren't getting to the B1G title game, let alone the CFP. So let's stop making topics covering all the bases we have covered at least a dozen times now.


November 23rd, 2015 at 2:19 PM ^

I'll bet you the OP made this thread while on the clock and theoretically "working" are many of the respondants!

Why would anyone stop making threads no matter how repetitive and unrealistic, and how can you ask us to stop replying to said, when they're essentially getting paid to do it?

But just to add fuel - review msu-rutgers, of any of a few of their other games (including the almost cosmic level of luck it took to beat us) and then convince yourself there's NO WAY they could lose to psu.

It certainly could happen, but I ain't holding my breath! I'm concerned with us taking care of our business; any other thing that does or doesn't fall into place after that is completely out of the hands of James Joseph Harbaugh and his Merry Men!

Well, IF we beat osu, psu beats msu, then we beat Iowa, he could shamelessly lobby & whine like Urbz did in '06 - but I don't think he will! He'll say the Goal is to win the B1G and go to the Rose Bowl, just like Bo said, just like I've saying in every one of these CFP scenarios!!!


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:12 PM ^

On the solid verbal, they basically said they don't think the B1G is getting in unless it is Iowa undefeated.


I would somewhat agree with that.  MSU could have 4-5 losses just as easily as IU could have had 4-5 more wins.  Michigan would have a strong argument if MSU finds it's way out, but it is tough to justify a 2 loss team making it in over a 1 loss team

MI Expat NY

November 23rd, 2015 at 1:37 PM ^

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can only provide one team of the four.  Assume Clemson and Alabama both win out and are in, that leaves one spot for Notre Dame or a one-loss MSU.  Have you looked at ND's wins?  Their best wins would be @Stanford, Navy, @Pitt, and "@"Temple.  Think that's better then wins @Michigan, @Ohio State, vs. Oregon, and vs. Iowa?  Sure, ND wins the "best loss" factor, but I don't think the rest of the resume is close enough to make up for it.  

ND needs to beat Stanford and hope we win the Big Ten.  Otherwise, I think they're out.   


November 23rd, 2015 at 5:30 PM ^

for the committee to decide between a 1-loss MSU team and one-loss ND.  ND also has a win over USC which could win the PAC12 South.  Sure it has four losses but that's another quality win if they beat UCLA.

It's unlikly ND wins at Stanford though, and that would certainly give a 1-loss B1G champion a playoff spot, and possibly a 2-loss B1G champion.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:24 PM ^

don't really think it is that cut and dry.  Let me say this, they should be in in that scenario, but I can't say for sure it will be.  At this point I do think ND would have to beat Stanford big to keep State out.  I think the Committee wants to put ND in but they looked pretty bad this past weekend.  I do not think State would get in over a one loss Oklahoma team even if they did beat Iowa.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:21 PM ^

If State beats Iowa and Oklahoma or Stanford lose again, I think State gets into the playoff. Even if State is going up against one-loss Oklahoma I think they might get in. Oklahoma did lose to texas and baylor/tcu have been banged up recently so those wins arent really as strong as they look on paper. State would have wins over Iowa, OSU, us, a surging Oregon and be 12-1 vs Oklahomas wins over Baylor, TCU, Okie-state and an 11-1 record. I think it'd go to state imo

Red is Blue

November 23rd, 2015 at 4:23 PM ^

It seems inconsistent to discount Oklahoma's wins against Baylor/TCU because those teams have been banged up lately, but yet give State full credit for their Oregon win.  If you're going to evaluate based on how teams were playing at the time, the Oregon win ought to be discounted.  Didn't the Ducks start 3 and 3?

Baylor (2 games remaining) and Oklahoma (1 game) winning out could really bolster a bid from a Big 12 team.


November 23rd, 2015 at 5:49 PM ^

State's win over Oregon would be its fourth best, which appears far better than Oklahoma's fourth best win (@Tenn?). Not even discounting wins over Baylor, TCU and Ok St. those won't be as good as States wins over OSU, us and Iowa. State would have a better resume than Oklahoma in the W/L column.  Would be interesting to see how much the committee actually looks at "how" those wins were acheived.

MI Expat NY

November 23rd, 2015 at 1:29 PM ^

That has to be assuming that ND beats Stanford, right?  Stanford won't beat out a one-loss MSU (or even a two-loss Michigan).  And no conference is getting a second team in at the cost of a P5 champion with one or two losses.  

I don't think ND keeps a one-loss MSU out, but I wouldn't be completely shocked if that proves to be the case.  


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:14 PM ^

Not unrealistic. I would think the Big XII is only going to get one team in though. So it probably doesn't really matter who wins between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Baylor lost to Oklahoma but beat Oklahoma State so whoever finishes higher between those three probably gets the spot. It would probably help us to move up though if Oklahoma and Baylor both their their second losses. 

Stanford situation is interesting. If we were to beat OSU and then and undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten title game I would think that puts us in over them. Just have to hope they beat Notre Dame though otherwise they're getting the 4th spot and deservedly so. 



November 23rd, 2015 at 1:21 PM ^

I just want a win vs OSU and Penn St to pull off a miracle. I just want a chance to play for the conference championship. Everything after that is gravy


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:26 PM ^



  • Stanford knocks off ND
  • PAC12 South (USC/UCLA) beats Stanford in CCG
Simple, clean, and not too much of a stretch.  Even if only the first happens, we'd also have a shot.
In regards to the OP, there's no way any league is getting two representatives this year.  No way.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:30 PM ^

2 loss Baylor has no chance. 1 loss Iowa similarly has no chance. So in your scenario it would be M, ND, and Ok st vying for 2 spots. If you believe the conspiracies and follow the $$ then it would be ND and M in for sure as that would generate the most revenue.


November 23rd, 2015 at 1:30 PM ^

JUST BEAT OSU.......  them drink and sit back to watch the rest play out.  No matter what happens I will be happy (but in the back of my mind be thinking about the fumbled punt that cost us the shot at the playoffs).