In the climactic year before the expansion of the College Football Playoff, the selection dilemma intensifies as traditional norms are poised to be disrupted. Writing for USA TODAY, Erick Smith dissects the unfolding scenario where Michigan and Washington are poised to secure the top two spots, leaving powerhouses Alabama, Texas, and Florida State in contention for the remaining coveted positions.
Unprecedented Shifts in Playoff Dynamics
The article highlights the unprecedented possibility of an unbeaten team from the Power Five missing out on the playoff, challenging a consistent trend observed in previous editions. Notably, the SEC champion, a perennial presence in the playoff, faces uncertainty this season as both Alabama and Texas vie for consideration, each with a single loss and a crucial head-to-head result.
Crimson Tide’s Triumph and Compelling Semifinal Prospects
Alabama’s triumph in the SEC title game against Georgia adds a layer of complexity to the selection process. Despite a loss to Texas earlier in the season, the Crimson Tide’s impressive victory over the two-time defending champion raises questions about the committee’s decision. Despite potential unpopularity, choosing Alabama over Florida State sets the stage for highly anticipated and compelling semifinal matchups.
Impact on New Year’s Six Games and Bowl Outlook
The omission of Florida State from the playoff contention sends ripples through the New Year’s Six games, notably affecting the Orange Bowl landscape. With Louisville initially slated for the Orange Bowl alongside the Seminoles, their absence opens the door for Oklahoma, positioned at No. 12 in the previous rankings. The Sooners’ victories over SMU and Texas strengthen their case, creating a ripple effect on the overall bowl matchups.
In conclusion, Smith reflects on the harsh reality facing Florida State, emphasizing the committee’s commitment to selecting the four best teams. Despite the Seminoles’ offensive struggles without Jordan Travis, the article suggests a potential drop to No. 5 and explores the implications of such a decision. As the debate unfolds, college football enthusiasts brace themselves for a playoff season marked by unexpected twists and decisions that could shape the future landscape of the sport.