(Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Coming into Saturday, the final four spots for the College Football Playoff were completely up for grabs. The top four teams entering Saturday’s slate of games were Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. A win for each of these teams would most likely solidify a spot in the playoffs come Sunday afternoon.
Early Saturday morning was the first game with playoff implications with TCU facing off against Oklahoma. Oklahoma, the favorite coming into the game, jumped on the scoreboard early and never looked back. The hopeful Heisman winner this year, Baker Mayfield, threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Sooners to a commanding 41-17 victory over the Horned Frogs. This Big 12 title for Oklahoma will secure them a sport in the College Football Playoff.
The next game of the afternoon that had playoff implications was the SEC Championship featuring the Georgia Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers. After a beat down loss to the Tigers three games prior, the Bulldogs got their revenge with a dominating win of their own winning 28-7. This is Georgia’s first SEC title since 2005 and could potentially land them a spot in the final four.
The two primetime games of the night featured Miami vs Clemson in the ACC Championship and Wisconsin vs Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. The Clemson Tigers took little time to make a statement as the new No. 1 team in the country. The Tigers lead 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back, earning their crown as ACC Champions with a 38-3 win over the Hurricanes. Wisconsin and Ohio State came all the way down to the wire in a thrilling Big 10 Championship game. Ohio State jumped out to a 21-7 lead, but Wisconsin fought back before quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw an interception with just over a minute left to seal the 27-21 victory for the Buckeyes. The fate of the Buckeyes playoff hopes is in the hands of the CFP Committee come Sunday afternoon.
No matter what the CFP Committee decides tomorrow, there will no doubt be a debate as to who really deserves to make the top four. Did Ohio State do enough to earn a spot in the playoff? Does a one loss Alabama team deserve to make the top four even though they did not get a chance to compete in the SEC Championship Game? In the end, I believe that the voters will give Ohio State the edge over Alabama. Come Sunday afternoon, the top four might look something like this…
- Ohio State