With the season complete, the final rankings will be revealed tomorrow. There are a lot of questions that come into play. Will the Top 4 stay the same? Does Penn State get in over Ohio State? Does Washington or Clemson get left out? Does the Big Ten get two teams? Does Ohio State fall from 2 to 5? There are different ways to evaluate each resume. The simple solution is for the Top 4 to stay the same. Alabama dominated Florida and will be the #1 seed in the playoff. Clemson beat Virginia Tech while Washington destroyed Colorado. Ohio State was idle but with wins over Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Michigan gives them a strong case to stay in the Top 4. Penn State has the head-to-head victory over Ohio State and won the Big Ten Championship. Their biggest con on their resume is having Two Losses. The other four teams are either undefeated or have one loss.
The committee has stressed conference championships as most important the past two seasons. Two years ago, TCU fell from 3 to 6 and was hopped by conference champion and undefeated Florida State, conference champion Ohio State, and co-Big 12 champ Baylor who they lost to. Does the same happen to Ohio State?
I believe Penn State and USC have made an argument of why the committee will consider expanding the playoff to 8 teams in the future. Its simple, teams change a lot from September to December. Some teams get better as some teams get worse. If Penn State gets in, I believe they should get in over Ohio State and not Washington or Clemson. Overall, here are my projections:
Peach Bowl: 1 Alabama vs 4 Penn State
Fiesta Bowl: 2 Clemson vs 3 Washington
Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs Auburn
Rose Bowl: USC vs Ohio State
Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan vs Wisconsin
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs Michigan