None. Not even a glimmer of hope that the Broncos could land in the four-team College Football Playoff.
It's why Gundy said he thinks having a conference championship game is "somewhat overrated". Conference members are unable to help their cause for consideration for the playoff. And Clemson and No. 23 Virginia Tech meet simultaneously for the Atlantic Coast championship in Orlando.
Still, if Washington and Clemson win this week, the Selection Sunday show could be anticlimactic. This allowed the Sooners to sneak into the playoff last season. The Rose Bowl also gets the Big Ten champion, and in this particular case, it's No. 6 Wisconsin because No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 MI did not win their division or play for the conference title. Division II, III and the FCS levels of football already have a playoff that allows for many teams to compete in the postseason. Or would it pick the Big Ten champion, either Wisconsin or Penn State, both of which lost to the Wolverines? With four of the top seven teams right now, not only are they in a good position to get two teams into the playoff, there is actually a reasonable scenario in which they get three teams in. And four teams now have a chance to prove their case on the field instead of the two anointed each year by the BCS.
The committee is supposed to determine the four best teams.
I'm not sure how they could ignore the Big Ten Champion for a Wolverines team that finished third in its own division, let alone the two-loss conference champion from the Pac-12 or Big-12. They struggled to beat Michigan State, 17-16, a team the other Big 10 foes in the discussion for possible playoff berths clobbered. No. 9 Oklahoma (9-2, 8-0 Big 12) and No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-2, 7-1 Big 12) square off on Saturday in Norman in what amounts to a de facto Big 12 championship game. Is the victor of the Big Ten in? They're firmly planted into the 2-spot and can't lose this week, so they're safe.
Then a team like Central Michigan took down Oklahoma State on the road and it was on a last-second Hail Mary play that no one saw coming. Meanwhile the Big Ten champion would match Colorado's conference title but from a tougher conference. Wisconsin rebounded against a seventh ranked Nebraska, following the two game losing streak. MI beat Wisconsin head to head earlier in the season. Victories over Minnesota and Northwestern were also quality showings.
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Michigan's rooting interests are pretty close, but the edge goes to Penn State because they are now ranked slightly lower. If it's the latter, how can they, in good conscience, have one of these teams jump MI, especially if it's Penn State? Toss a conference championship on the Nittany Lions' resume and it becomes a closer call.
This weekly series tracks the College Football Playoff selection process, which will lead to a national semifinal in Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 31.
By keeping the Buckeyes at No. 2, they are nearly certainly a lock to make the playoff at this point. The conference championship game loses its importance in that instance. After all, how can you leave out one of the top teams in the country who won the best conference (Big Ten) in 2016?
This is what ex-SEC commissioner Mike Slive wanted years ago.
That wouldn't be the case with an eight-team field. Their only other loss was to number 24 Pittsburgh in week two. But doubling the current postseason does far more than give a long shot a chance.
The Michigan football team was ranked fifth when this week's College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday night. But who wouldn't want to watch more college football playoff games anyways?