The final College Football Playoff rankings are just nine days away - and until then, fans and analysts are going to keep debating which four teams are most deserving of inclusion. Friday, ESPN brought up a scenario that might make the college football world lose it.
According to ESPN's Seth Walder, the Allstate Playoff Predictor computes that a 12-1 Ohio State team that loses to Minnesota in the Big Ten title game would "more probably" get into the College Football Playoff than the Golden Gophers. Seriously.
The Golden Gophers need the second part of that equation to come to fruition, because the Allstate Playoff Predictor still thinks that a 12-1 Ohio State would more probably get in over the Gophers team it just lost to. That would be wild! But that matters only if Georgia beats LSU. Otherwise, both Big Ten teams (Ohio State and Minnesota) can get in as long as LSU is the SEC champion.
I think it's fairly obvious that Ohio State can lose to Michigan and still make the playoff, so long as it wins the Big Ten title game. It's also fairly obvious that Ohio State could still be selected for the playoff if it beats Michigan and loses to Minnesota. But how on earth could the Buckeyes be ahead of the Golden Gophers in the final rankings?
Minnesota would have beaten Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State, finished with a 12-1 record and won a conference title. The team's only loss would be to (likely) 9-3 Iowa.
For what it's worth, FiveThirtyEight's model does not agree. If Ohio State beats Michigan and loses to Minnesota, the Buckeyes only have a 22% chance of getting in. The Golden Gophers would have an 83% shot.
First things first, Minnesota has to beat Wisconsin on Saturday. The Golden Gophers and the Badgers kick off at 3:30 PM ET on ABC.