Who comes out on top in the CFP?

William Swanson

As Clemson failed to convert on a fourth-and-twenty-four in double overtime, the Notre Dame sideline charged the field along with the fans that were present as the Fighting Irish upset the number one tigers. And suddenly, the college football playoff started looking a lot different.

With the season coming to a close, the College Football Playoffs are starting to look clearer than ever. There are still questions that need answering when it comes to the teams making the final cut. Clemson losing to Notre Dame made all the different scenarios that more interesting.

I have to go with Florida. The Gators will wreck Ohio State in the semifinals and shatter Clemson’s hopes of another title in the national championship. That’s how it will play out. ”

I think Clemson will pull ahead despite their first regular season loss since 2017. To do so, they will need to win out to get to the ACC championship. This is where things get interesting. If Notre Dame also wins out, Clemson will get a chance at avenging their loss while also securing a spot in the playoffs.

I’ll go even farther. Let’s say Clemson wins the rematch, if the CFP selection committee is feeling generous, we might see two ACC teams in the playoffs for the first time. 

One conference that is looking good is the SEC. I know, Alabama seems like an automatic winner and it seems like they always get into the CFP by blowing away the competition. This year feels different though. The Gators lost to a good Texas A&M team, but other than that one loss, Kyle Trask looks to be a future NFL star with the potential of making a national championship run. I wouldn’t be surprised if Florida beat Alabama in the SEC championship.

I won’t mention the Big 12 conference because most Big 12 teams have looked disappointing this season, but I will mention another conference that has been equally disappointing. That conference is the Big 10. I thought at least Penn State would be a contender in the conference but after the upset by Indiana, they look lost on the field and can’t even manage win a game. Unless there was some major upset, Ohio State is a safe bet for the CFP. 

When it comes to matchups in the playoffs, I think Ohio State will win the number one spot if Florida beats Alabama and play the Gators. It’s a bit of a toss up when it comes to the second and third spot. If Clemson beats Notre Dame like I predict they will, one-loss Alabama would have the highest chance of staying getting in rather than Notre Dame, it just depends on the selection committee, either way, I think we’ll see two teams from the same conference get in.

So who’s going to win it all? I picked Georgia in the midseason column I wrote (they still hadn’t lost at the time) because they were the underdog, so this time around I have to go with Florida. The Gators will wreck Ohio State in the semifinals and shatter Clemson’s hopes of another title in the national championship. That’s how it will play out.