The College Football Playoff committee will be busy throughout the weekend debating some of the shakeups that happened over Thanksgiving weekend. Michigan and Washington State were both upset in rivalry matchups. UCF won convincingly against South Florida but lost one of the best quarterbacks in the country in McKenzie Milton.
The Wolverines now join the list of two-loss teams and are essentially eliminated from playoff contention now that they will not be playing for a Big Ten title. Not only did Michigan lose, but they lost convincingly to the Buckeyes. Ohio State had fallen in the rankings after their struggles against Mayland but should rise once again with their win over Michigan.
UCF received a devastating blow with Milton suffering a horrific injury against USF. The Knights played well in Milton’s absence which is a testament to the quality of the overall team. However, UCF has often not received the benefit of the doubt from the committee, and there is a chance the team could find it hard to keep climbing the rankings without Milton.
We have seen in years past teams like Ohio State were not penalized after Cardale Jones took over the quarterback spot late in the season. Back in 2014, J.T. Barrett was injured in the Ohio State-Michigan game at the end of the regular season. Jones took over during the game and led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title. Ohio State punched a ticket to the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed and won the championship with Jones behind center.
UCF’s AAC title game against Memphis is likely to have major implications on their final ranking. The early leanings point to UCF not being penalized for Milton’s injury, but we will have to wait until Tuesday to see what the committee does.
“First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with McKenzie Milton and his family,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock told ESPN. “I do understand that some people want to talk ‘football’ tonight. So, pivoting to that, the committee does consider injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season; Obviously, UCF continued to play well after McKenzie left the ballgame. The committee also does not project what might happen next week. They only evaluate what has happened to this point in the season.”
Washington State’s loss in the Apple Cup essentially eliminates the Pac-12 from contention. The final playoff spot could end up coming down to Ohio State and Oklahoma if both teams win their conference title games.
Notre Dame and Clemson still have business to attend to, and a loss by either team would turn the playoff picture to chaos. Here’s a look at the projected college football rankings heading into Tuesday’s unveiling. We will continue to update these predictions throughout the night.
College Football Playoff Rankings Prediction Week 14