Between midterms, protests on campus, sports practice, homework, and sitting idly, few students at Brown pay attention to the Division I FBS college football season (We play in the FCS, the second tier division). Still, if you have friends from home that go to universities with tailgates and huge stadiums, you might want to catch up on the season before winter break. Here’s what you need to know to sound like you haven’t been living under a rock:
This Saturday (December 5) kicks off championship weekend for the Big 10, Pac 12, ACC, and SEC, the results of which will determine the four teams that the college football playoff committee selects to go on to the College Football Playoff. As of now, there are only eight teams left in contention.
Already buying plane tickets:
Oklahoma: Oklahoma finished the season as champions of the Big 12 conference last week with a win over Oklahoma State. Their only loss so far has been against Texas, and they have wins against four top 25 opponents. With no more games left to play, Oklahoma is guaranteed one of the four spots.
Alabama: On Saturday, Alabama will face off against a two-loss Florida team that has struggled all of November, most notably when they barely escaped a terrible Florida Atlantic team. Alabama has been consistent all season, will win this game and go on to the playoff barring another miracle.
In control of their destiny:
Michigan State and undefeated Iowa will face off in the Big 10 championship. The winner of this game will go on to the playoffs.
Clemson is undefeated this year, but faces a test in the ACC championship against North Carolina. If top-ranked Clemson wins, they are guaranteed a spot in the top four.
Who still has a chance (if Clemson loses)?
North Carolina: A win against Clemson would crown the Tar heels as ACC champion. This would leave them with one fewer loss than Stanford and unlike Ohio State, with a conference championship. However a weak regular season schedule could doom North Carolina’s playoff hopes.
Stanford: Assuming the two-loss Cardinal beat USC in the Pac-12 championship, their strong schedule could be enough to push them over a one-loss North Carolina team and Ohio State, who lost the game that mattered most against Michigan State.
Ohio State: If Clemson loses, the playoff committee could make a case for the defending national champion over Stanford and North Carolina. The Buckeyes looked strong this week in their 42-13 demolition of tenth ranked Michigan, but unlike the other contenders, will not have a conference championship title.
Michigan State over Iowa, USC over Stanford, North Carolina over Clemson, and Alabama over Florida.
Playoff: Oklahoma, Michigan State, Alabama, and Ohio State make the playoffs (Ohio State is selected over North Carolina based on strength of schedule).
National Championship: Oklahoma over Alabama