Who Will Get the Fourth Spot in the CFP?

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With Alabama and Minnesota’s losses this week it seems that we are down to four teams with a real shot at the 4th playoff spot. Ohio State, LSU, and Clemson all seemed to be locked in for the CFP (even if they lose in the conference championship), and the final spot will almost certainly go to one of Georgia, Utah, Oklahoma, or Baylor. The question is, which one of these teams takes that final spot? Here is how I see this playing out.

SEC Championship:

The first piece of this puzzle comes in the SEC Championship. If Georgia wins then they are in, but if they lose then they are out. With how good LSU has looked and the vulnerability that Georgia has shown, I would be shocked if LSU didn’t win this game. In my opinion, it is safe to assume that Georgia will lose and is therefore not in this CFP race which leaves us with three teams.

This week’s playoff rankings:

A huge piece of the race for this playoff will come this Tuesday night. This week’s rankings are extremely important to see where the committee ranks Oklahoma and Utah. Coming into the week Utah was at #6 and Oklahoma was at #7, but with a dominant win on the road against #21 Oklahoma State, there is a good chance the CFP committee moves Oklahoma ahead. This is huge because if Georgia goes on to lose, then the team who is ranked higher between Utah and Oklahoma will control their own destiny. I think that the committee will ultimately decide that Oklahoma’s win this week is enough to move them ahead of Utah this week.

Pac 12 Championship:

Even if Utah is ranked ahead of Oklahoma going into this week, I still don’t see them making the playoffs because I believe they will lose to Oregon. Both Utah and Oregon have great teams, but the difference to me is at quarterback. I think Justin Herbert will outplay Tyler Huntley and Oregon will win the game. As a result of this, Utah’s playoff hopes will be eliminated.

Big 12 Championship:

With Georgia losing and Utah losing, the Big 12 Championship becomes a play-in game for the final spot in the CFP. This game is a rematch from the November 16th showdown in Waco where Oklahoma came back from a 25-point deficit to win the game. Though Baylor has the superior defense, I believe that Oklahoma’s weapons on offense will ultimately be too much for the Bears to overcome. Kennedy Brooks has been running well as of late behind their massive offensive line. Brooks and Jalen Hurts work on the ground will give Oklahoma control of the game and they will go on to win. Unfortunately, the SEC game isn’t until after the Big 12 game so the Sooners won’t know this at the time, but once Georgia goes down then Oklahoma will know that they have secured the final spot in the 2019-20 College Football Playoff.

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