Skip to main content

ESPN: This League's College Football Playoff Changes Are "In Trouble"

Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during football game.


ESPN released its new 'Playoff Predictor' metric today. It analyzes and projects which teams have the best shot at reaching the playoff and winning it all based on five factors: strength of record, FPI, number of losses, conference championships and independent status.

You can read more about the 'Playoff Predictor' here and see a full breakdown via ESPN here. As you can imagine, the usual suspects have the best chances of getting to the CFP, according to the new metric.

However, there is one league that should worry about being shut out of the field. According to the 'Playoff Predictor,' the Big 12 is in "big trouble."

Here's why:

How reliant the Big 12 is on Oklahoma? The Sooners have a 24 percent shot to return to the playoff, but the Big 12 as a whole has only a 29 percent chance between all of its schools combined. That's a lower percentage than six individual schools.

If Lincoln Riley can't get the Baker Mayfield-less Sooners back to the national semifinal, then the Big 12's best bet is probably Texas. If the Longhorns were to take a major step forward in Tom Herman's second season and somehow reach the playoff (3 percent chance), it would likely be on the back of its defense. After adjusting for the powerful offenses in the Big 12, last year's defense actually was the fifth-most efficient in the FBS last season and FPI projects the unit to be the third-best defense this year.

Overall, the Big 12 has a 5 percent chance to produce the national champion. Those odds are worse than Notre Dame's alone (10 percent).

The SEC (31 percent) and ACC (25 percent) lead the way, followed by the Big Ten (17 percent) and Pac-12 (12 percent). As you can see, the Big 12 is dead last.

Not what any fans of Big 12 teams want to hear right now, but luckily for them, the games aren't played on paper or on the computer.