The first ever College Football Playoff is almost here. In less than one week, the final rankings will be released and the the bracket will be set. In a season where only one undefeated team remains, there is little consensus among the experts and every top team has their argument for why they should make the final four.
Currently, Alabama sits atop the rankings with Oregon following behind. Both teams claim an 11-1 record, with both losses coming to conference opponents. TCU follows with the third seed, their one loss coming to a conference opponent as well. The final team, Florida State,
holds the only perfect record of the season, but their weaker schedule and their tendency to almost lose every game has kept at the bottom of the bracket.
After this weekend, all the games will played and every team will have nothing to do but wait on the decision of the voters. The question that will at the forefront of every player, coach, sportscaster and fan: who will get it. But for us right now, with an entire slate of games to be played and a potential upset possible in nearly every one of the conference title games, it is nearly impossible to really know who will be in the final four come Monday.
That being said, that doesn’t stop us from talking about who we want to see. In the current top four, there are four different teams with different playing styles and different mentalities. Every one of them offers their own strengths and weaknesses and no matter who they end up playing come playoff-time, a good game is expected. However, as a fan, there is no denying that there are matchups we would rather see more than others.
So, we are going to give you three matchups that would make for one awesome first College Football Playoff. For the sake of the article, we will be including any teams that have even the most minute chance of getting into the final four: that includes any top eight team, as well as any team facing one of those teams in the conference championship game.
You may debate the likelihood of some of these guys getting a chance to play in the playoff, but in this writer’s mind, any team who beats one of the current top six teams and holds only two losses (which all of the underdogs in the major conference championships do), has a chance. This would oequire a loss or two at the top of the rankings as well, but that is definitely possible. If those losses do occur, there is no reason why the voters wouldn’t consider a two-loss conference champion.
So, with that being said, let us begin!
Oregon vs. TCU
I’m sorry, but who wouldn’t want to see this? This would be the definition of a shootout and what a shootout it would be. These are the two most exciting offenses in the country, led by two of the most dynamic quarterbacks to grace the field. You’ve got Marcus Mariota, a potential no. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft, and Trevone Boykin, one of the breakout stars of this season, on the same field in one game. Each guy can make plays with their arm and their feet and take over games like few quarterbacks can.
This would simply be a fun game to watch. It would be two of the top-five offenses in the country going to head-to-head. Each team can potentially outscore their basketball team on any given day. This would be a shootout for the ages, a non-SEC-ACC matchup that could easily be the most exciting game of the season. Not to mention, there would be two pretty sweet sets of jerseys on the field at once. It would be one pretty game to watch.
Alabama vs. Florida State
This might seem like a no-brainer. After-all, these are the top two teams in most of the major rankings other than the CFP rankings and with the current setup of those rankings, these two teams would play each other in the first round, do this matchup is a likely one.
There are obvious reasons why this matchup would be one people would want to see. It would be the reigning champion versus the dynasty. It would be last year’s Heisman winner versus one of the greatest college coaches of our time. It would be two top-25 offenses going head to head, fighting it out against two stout defenses. Most importantly, it would be the SEC versus the ACC.
Much has been made about the conference rivalry in the past couple weeks. Last weekend, the ACC went undefeated against the SEC and every ACC fan couldn’t stop talking about it. Granted, most of the teams who lost were at the bottom of the SEC while most of the ACC representatives were ranked, but this isn’t the first time the ACC has gotten the better of the “best conference” in football. You just have to look back to last year’s championship game to find that.
This matchup would be for all the marbles. It would be, debatably, the best teams from the best two conferences. It would not only be a chance for the SEC to reclaim the top spot in the land, but it would also solidify their claim as the top conference as well. On the other side of the coin, it would finally give Florida State a chance to prove themselves against a quality opponent and prove that their undefeated record was no fluke. The matchups on the field would be good, but the implications would be nearly insurmountable.
Arizona vs. Wisconsin
Yes you read that right. Now before you start hating on this pick, understand this is a very unlikely scenario, but as stated before, that does not mean it is impossible. For Arizona, all the power is in their hands. If they fall to Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship game, their hopes of a playoff appearance are over. If they beat the Ducks for a second time, however, then things would get interesting. The selection committee would have to throw a two-loss team into the bracket, but with losses for any of the one-loss teams above them, Arizona could very well get in.
Wisconsin is an even longer shot. Just like Arizona, they are playing in their conference championship as the lower-ranked team. If they are able to come out with a win against Ohio State, which is actually very likely seeing as the Buckeyes are down to their third-string quarterback, then they may have a chance. Again, there would have to be multiple losses at the top of the rankings, but if enough teams go to two losses on the season after this weekend, Wisconsin could sneak in.
There are two players that would make this match up an incredible one to see. Both are Heisman candidates. Both are game-changers every time they step on to the field. They also play on opposites of the ball.
Melvin Gordon is a beast. He is the sole reason why the Badgers are ranked No. 13 in the country and is the sole reason why they would have any chance at making the CFP. He has accumulated 2,260 rushing yards and is averaging 8.8 yards a carry. He has reached endzone 29 times (26 rushing, 3 receiving). He is currently the best back in country.
Arizona’s man has been flying much more under the radar, but he has made just as much of an impact on the field, if not more, than Gordon has. Scooby Wright, a linebacker for the Wildcats, has been lighting up offenses all season. He leads the nation with 139 tackles. He also has accumulated 14 sacks. His biggest game came at UCLA, where the sophomore had 19 tackles and 3 sacks in the loss. The guy knows how to play defense.
Again, this matchup is unlikely. Both teams would need a lot of chips to fall into play before anyone considered them for the bracket. But if it were to happen, this would be an incredible matchup to see. Two Heisman hopefuls, dueling is out on the field. It would, of course, be a team effort, but at the end it almost assuredly would come to which game-changer wanted it more.