The Big Ten has been left out of the College Football Playoff before. With how Ohio State has looked so far this season, it is hard to imagine that happening this season, should the Buckeyes run the table. ESPN’s CFP insider Heather Dinich sees things differently.
She appeared on Get Up to discuss the current College Football Playoff situation this morning. This past weekend’s two biggest games help open up big-time opportunities for both the ACC and SEC: Notre Dame’s overtime win over Clemson, and Florida’s victory over rival Georgia. If Clemson can win a close ACC Championship rematch, and Florida can run the table and beat Alabama in the SEC title game, Dinich believes those two leagues could take all four Playoff spots.
“(Clemson is) still in this thing, Greeny,” Dinich said. “I think what we learned from Saturday is that the ACC has the potential for two top four teams. They have to avoid any upsets for the rest of the regular season. I think they can do that, Brian Kelly has stressed that repeatedly.
“But it’s not just the ACC, it’s the SEC too that has the potential. The SEC can state a case if Florida, which took the lead in the SEC East, runs the table and knocks off Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, you can have two SEC teams in the debate with a College Football Playoff selection committee.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 9, 2020
Notre Dame looked very good against Clemson, and the Tigers will still likely get plenty of benefit of the doubt with Trevor Lawrence missing the game. Freshman D.J. Uiagalelei looks better than the vast majority of Power Five starting quarterbacks, but it is hard not to factor in Lawrence’s absence.
Will that be enough to box out an undefeated Ohio State, though? It seems hard to imagine. While teams like Michigan and Penn State, generally good wins for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten East, look pretty poor this year, the Buckeyes’ priors are very strong. The team also has an opportunity for a Top 10 win against Indiana on Nov. 21.
Luckily we still have plenty of football for this to all get sorted out. Clemson is on bye this week, while Notre Dame is at Boston College on Saturday in the ACC. Alabama is scheduled to play at LSU, while Florida hosts a plucky Arkansas team. Ohio State is at Maryland.