It is championship week and the Huskies are on the outside looking in. To UW fans, there is not a game out there this weekend that can change the fact that they are not going to the playoffs.
I think we’ve already processed the grief that goes along with this certainty.
Optimists will point out here that UW, which currently sits 13 in the CFP rankings, do have a shot at getting into one of the New Year’s Six bowl games. Specifically, we seem to be an longshot candidate for the Cotton Bowl.
I’ve already broken down what would have to happen for this to come to pass. Needless to say, I’m not one of those optimists.
However, some major outlets have projected this scenario not only as possible, but as their actual prediction. Dr. Saturday over at Yahoo, for instance, is projecting UW to the Cotton Bowl in his most recent projections.
So, it could happen. But how?
First and foremost, the most important thing that has to happen is that there can be no conference that puts two teams into the CFP. I will spare you the details of this calculus in this space. You can read all about it in my breakdown from earlier this week.
Second of all, and this is simple, UW must leap over one or two teams this weekend. Since UW isn’t playing, that will only happen if those teams lose (and, preferably, lose badly). There really are only two such candidates in play which, if you think about it, makes this rooting guide somewhat easy to write.
Oh, and remember when all of you were sweating Notre Dame? Yeah, we won’t be talking about them today.
Let’s jump in.
Stanford vs USC: Pac 12 Championship
Root for: USC
This might be hard to do for some of you. But go ahead, pinch your nose and do it.
USC as P12 champs ensures that there is just one P12 team ahead of UW in the New Year’s six evaluation. I realize that UW having lost to a “four losss” Stanford team doesn’t exactly make for an exclamation point on the resume when UW ultimately gets evaluated. But, hey, Clemson lost to Syracuse. So, whatever.
What we can’t endure is having to compete with USC for a second P12 team in the NY6. There is a good chance we’d lose that battle.
TCU vs Oklahoma: Big 12 Championship
Root for: an Oklahoma blowout
This really is the most important game for UW’s NY6 hopes. TCU is just ahead of UW in the current rankings. Although it would be a longshot, a loss to Oklahoma could send TCU just behind the Huskies. There wouldn’t be precedent for that kind of fall, but we’ve also never had a playoff game between two teams in a 10 team conference.
A blowout here would make it easier for the committee to drop TCU behind the Huskies. Should they do that, the Dawgs might have a chance at playing these same Horned Frogs in the Cotton Bowl.
Auburn vs Georgia: SEC Championship
Root for: Georgia
The SEC is going to get at least three teams in the CFP games. We want the committee to feel really good about selecting only one SEC team for the playoffs and the relegating the other two to the NY6. If the SEC - or any conference - gets two teams into the playoffs, UW’s chances of getting into the NY6 are all but nil.
A win by Georgia would validate their season as the “best” among the SEC opponents. It would diminish even further Alabama’s claim of being one of the four best given how badly they lost to Auburn and it would saddle the Tigers with three losses. It would not be automatic, mind you. But it is probably the best scenario for UW.
Wisconsin vs Ohio State: B1G Championship
Root for: Wisconsin
It almost doesn’t matter as I don’t see too many scenarios where Ohio State drops up to five spots due to a loss. However, there is an argument that a three-loss Ohio State without JT Barrett ought to be ranked lower than UW (I would be making the assumption here that JT Barrett’s injury is more serious than first reported and that the truth of this would be revealed when he doesn’t play this weekend) in the CFP rankings.
I certainly don’t want to be in a NY6 game bad enough to “root for an injury”, but in the case that Barrett actually is unable to go AND the Buckeyes get demolished, it is within the realm of possibility that Ohio State could get bounced down to around UW’s current 13 spot.
Fresno State vs Boise State: MWC Championship
Root for: Fresno State
Believe it or not, the Bulldogs are ranked #25 in the most recent CFP rankings implying that UW has a blowout win over a ranked team on the season. If FSU handily takes care of Boise State, that would further bolster UW’s resume and make it easier to bump them up a notch or two. This could be one of those small difference-makers.
Clemson vs Miami: ACC Championship
Root for: Clemson
It really doesn’t matter thanks to the auto-bid that the loser of this game has to the Orange Bowl. But let’s not risk muddying the clear argument that the ACC only has stakes for one playoff spot, shall we?
That’s all I have for now. Below is the full TV schedule. You may consider this your official CFB Championship Week Open Thread.
Championship Week Full Schedule
|#12 Stanford vs. #10 USC||(Fri) 5:00:00 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#20 Memphis at #14 UCF||9:00 AM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|Akron vs. Toledo||9:00 AM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|North Texas at Florida Atlantic||9:00 AM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|UMass at Florida Intl||9:00 AM||None||CUSA.tv|
|Louisiana Monroe at Florida State||9:00 AM||ACC Network||WatchESPN.com|
|#11 TCU vs. #3 Oklahoma||9:30 AM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|
|Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina||10:00 AM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Idaho at Georgia State||11:00 AM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Louisiana at Appalachian State||11:30 AM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|#6 Georgia vs. #2 Auburn||1:00 PM||CBS||CBSSports.com|
|South Alabama at New Mexico State||1:30 PM||None||WatchESPN.com|
|Troy at Arkansas State||4:30 PM||ESPN2||WatchESPN.com|
|#25 Fresno State at Boise State||4:45 PM||ESPN||WatchESPN.com|
|#7 Miami vs. #1 Clemson||5:00 PM||ABC||WatchESPN.com|
|#8 Ohio State vs. #4 Wisconsin||5:00 PM||FOX||FoxSportsGo.com|