1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

College Hotline - Stanford football: Path to the College Football Playoff and other bowl...

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    28,762
    Likes Received:
    200
    [​IMG]


    Housekeeping items first:

    This overview will replace the usual ‘Grading the Week’ post. It’s all about the next seven days.

    The Pac-12 will announce the all-conference teams and award winners Tuesday, with the former at noon and the latter at 6 p.m. on the Pac12Nets.

    ICYMI: Kickoff for the Pac-12 title game at Levi’s is 4:45 on ESPN.

    Here we go …

    After 12 weeks, 10 wins, seven night games, six blowouts, three heart-stoppers, two losses and 3,025 all-purpose yards for Christian McCaffrey, there are still several potential outcomes for Stanford’s season:

    1) Lose the Pac-12 title game to USC.

    2) Win the Pac-12 title game but miss the College Football Playoff.

    3) Win the Pac-12 title game and make the College Football Playoff.

    Let’s take them one at a time, shall we?

    *** Lose the Pac-12 title game to USC.

    Bowl officials have an understandable aversion to teams that lose conference title games, because there’s a letdown component that leads to fan apathy — and apathetic fans don’t buy tickets or book hotel rooms.

    But Stanford’s conference record and the Pac-12 selection process would limit any damage caused by a loss Saturday in Levi’s.




    The Trojans would head to the Rose Bowl — their first appearance since Jan. ’09, believe it or not — with the Alamo, Holiday and Foster Farms bowl selecting next, in that order.

    Each of those bowls is allowed to bypass Team X in favor of Team Y as long as there is no more than a one-game difference in league record.

    Only one team is within a game of the Cardinal (8-1), and that’s Oregon (7-2).

    If the Alamo picked Oregon, and that’s a pretty good bet given the Ducks’ sizzling finish and head-to-head victory over Stanford, then the selection rules would kick in:

    The Holiday would have to select 8-1 Stanford over the 6-3 and 5-4 options.

    It might want the Cardinal anyhow — Stanford has never participated in the game and would carry 10 wins and a top-20 ranking — but Holiday officials would have no choice.

    The Cardinal cannot end up in the Foster Farms (again), and for that both parties are probably thankful.

    *** Win the Pac-12 title game but miss the College Football Playoff

    Simple: The Cardinal would be Rose Bowl-bound for the third time in four years.

    Its opponent? A Big Ten team, no matter what.

    The Rose Bowl’s contract with the Pac-12 and Big Ten allows it to retain the traditional matchup even if one (or both) of the leagues sends a team to the playoff.

    The winner of the Big Ten title game (Michigan State vs. Iowa) is almost certainly headed to the semifinals.

    The loser is almost certainly headed to Pasadena. And if not the loser, then Ohio State.

    Stanford vs. Ohio State in Pasadena:

    Can’t help but wonder if that would be more appealing to some fans than Stanford vs. Clemson in the semifinals in Miami.

    *** Win the Pac-12 title game and make the College Football Playoff

    First, the bottom line: The Cardinal needs Clemson and/or Alabama to lose.

    The top-four teams in the selection committee’s final rankings (released Sunday morning) will advance to the semifinals at the Cotton and Orange bowls.

    — Oklahoma, which was No. 3 last week, crushed Oklahoma State to win the Big 12. The Sooners are 11-1, they are done, and they are a lock.

    — The Big Ten title game, which matches No. 4 Iowa against No. 5 Michigan State, will produce a second playoff team. If the Hawkeyes win, they are 13-0 champs of what’s arguably the toughest league in the land. If the Spartans win, they are 12-1 champs with wins over Iowa (12-1), Ohio State (11-1), Michigan (9-3) and Oregon (9-3).

    That leaves two spots left:

    — Alabama, currently No. 2 in the committee rankings, will a no-brainer pick with a victory over Florida in the SEC title game. But the Tide is the only playoff option from the SEC; three-loss Florida is no longer in the hunt. If Alabama were to lose, we’d be left with a once-unthinkable scenario: No SEC representation in the playoff. And a spot would open … possibly for Stanford.

    — Undefeated Clemson is No. 1 in the committee rankings are guaranteed a playoff berth if the Tigers beat North Carolina in the ACC title game. But if they lose, a spot would open … possibly for Stanford.

    Those are the playoff paths for the Cardinal: Through the doors currently marked for Alabama and Clemson.

    The Crimson Tide, loaded on defense and in possession of the Heisman Trophy frontrunner (tailback Derrick Henry), is heavily favored to beat Florida. Stanford fans shouldn’t spend an ounce of energy pondering an Alabama loss. Not happening.

    But Clemson … Clemson is hardly a lock to advance.

    The Tigers struggled to beat lowly South Carolina over the weekend and are just six-point favorites over surging North Carolina.

    In the case of an upset in the ACC, the selection committee would likely pick from a group of three teams: North Carolina, Ohio State, and Stanford.

    The Cardinal would have a decisive edge over North Carolina in strength of schedule, and it would have a decisive edge over Ohio State as conference champion against a division runner up.

    That would guarantee nothing, except a reasonable chance.

    xxxxxxx

    * Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

    * My e-book, “Andrew Luck: Inside the Making of a No. 1 Pick,” is available for $2.99 on Amazon for Kindles and for other devices (PCs, iPads and iPhones) with the free Kindle app.

    * Download the Bay Area News Group’s new iPad app for more college sports and other news, or check out college sports coverage on MercuryNews.com.

    The post Stanford football: Path to the College Football Playoff and other bowl options appeared first on College Hotline.

    Continue reading...

    by Jon Wilner
     

Share This Page