Alabama will play Florida (8-3, 6-2) on Saturday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at 3 p.m. The Badgers will face No. 7 Penn State (10-2) in the Big Ten title game Saturday in Indianapolis.
Teams have one more weekend to win over the selection committee as they compete for spots in the semifinals and elite New Year's Six bowl games.
Currently, the College Football Playoff scenario has Alabama at No. 1, and in a wave of controversy, placed the Ohio State Buckeyes No. 2. So while MI might be a better team, the committee has basically already given its ruling on who they think is better by placing them at No. 5 being Washington on Tuesday.
Clemson was No. 3 in the last committee rankings and Washington was No. 4.
Based on comments from CFP committee chair Kirby Hocutt on Tuesday night, that could very well happen, even with the addition of a top-10 victory for either UW or Penn State. The first two years of the format, there was little controversy in deciding who the four teams to participate in the playoff would be. There are several conference champions that are going to be evaluated, the one out of the Pac-12, the one out of this conference, the one out of the Big 12, the one out of the ACC. And the College Football Playoff seems to be sending a message that it doesn't consider conference championship games very important.
No. 4 Washington defeats No. 8 Colorado for Pac-12 title
For the Colorado Buffaloes , no one expected this type of season, as they claimed the PAC 12 South, and have a 10-2 record. By the end, the Huskies were up 41-10 and Colorado was left scratching their heads wondering where things went wrong.
The Big Ten accounted for four of the top seven teams. Their only chance to sneak into the top four is a loss next week by one of the top teams. The first thing they must do, obviously, is beat Washington. The final playoff rankings will hang on the result of the Pac 12, ACC, and Big Ten championship games. Ohio State, meanwhile, sit at 11-1 and just defeated then-No.
If Alabama and Ohio State are locks, Penn State and Wisconsin need help. The Buffaloes would still have MI, which they lost to, ahead of them, but MI likely cancels out Penn State and could be the No. 3 seed, allowing the Buffs to sneak in. If they both win, it's possible the committee will wait until December 10 - when Navy faces Army - to determine who gets the nod. If you win your preseason games and you go the stretch in this league and you're nearly undefeated, one loss or not, you got a chance to be in. In addition, it would seem that while the victor of the Big Ten will also add a quality win, it is not that much better to overcome the seemingly large gap between No. 4 and Nos. 6/7. Yes, Michigan lost last week at Ohio State in double overtime and also fell at Iowa on a last-second field goal, losing two of its last three games.
Washington (11-1, 8-1 Pac 12): Like Clemson, Washington should be in with a win.
"Ah man, it's been insane", Penn State linebacker Jason Cabinda said of the happy returning to Happy Valley. I get that the Cardinals lost their last two games, but is that enough to put a team that they blew out ahead of them?
The idea that three of the four best teams in the conference could be in the same division and that two of them would not qualify to play for a championship probably was dismissed as unlikely to happen when the Big Ten championship game was created. "Washington is not one of the country's best teams".