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College Football’s Final Four: What will it take to get in?

Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame in power positions

Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter tackles Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson during the Rose Bowl Game 2018 Photo: thestar.com



A look at the College Football Playoff and the teams that have a chance to fill one of the four spots.  As we all know, the teams are picked by a committee that says it uses criteria in their decision making.  Fact of the matter, the committee will pick the four teams they want regardless to any qualifications and this group will justify their “chosen” four even if they have to lie about it.




Georgia vs Alabama National Championship game 2018 Photo: Dogsports.com



Alabama:  The Tide will be in the final four as long as they do not lose more than one remaining game, including the regular season games that remain, and the SEC title game.  Alabama could lose in the SEC title game and will still be selected.  They could get beat in the regular season (Auburn for example) and still make it with an SEC Championship game win.  The only way for the Tide to miss the playoffs is to lose two games and that is not happening (I do not think).


Clemson:  The road to the playoffs is easy. Win out.  Any loss could put their chances on a teeter totter and the Tigers are beatable.  With games at Boston College, and at home with Duke and South Carolina, following an ACC title game against an unknown opponent, Clemson could lose a game and it would not shock me.  As good as the Tigers are, this is one team that will have a challenge to stay undefeated.  As of my opinion, Clemson has a fair chance of losing a game.


Notre Dame:  With an advantage of not having to play a Conference Championship game, the Fighting Irish have three remaining game, two of which they could get beat.  Win all three remaining games and the men from South Bend wrap up a Final Four bid.  Syracuse at home in two weeks is a losable game and the final in Los Angeles against USC is another one that could slip up the Irish.  As of Clemson, Notre Dame has a fair chance of losing one of these two games, as the Orangemen are well coached and USC can match the Irish will their talent level.


Michigan:  The Big Ten’s best team (today) has to win out which will not be an easy task.  After two relative easy games with Rutgers and Indiana, the game in Columbus against Ohio State will be a difficult one.  A win will put them in the Big Ten Championship game where they will probably play Northwestern.  The Wildcats are good enough to beat Michigan.  For The Wolverines to make the Final Four, they have to win out and hope Alabama does not lose a game.. Any loss and they are out.  They have to hope that if all the favorites win out (except Alabama) in the upcoming weeks, they are not looking at a Georgia SEC champion from their title game with the Tide.  Georgia and Alabama would trump Michigan if it comes down to those one loss teams.  If that happens, Michigan might be the odd team out.  Michigan still has work to do and they must hope Georgia does not spoil their party.


Georgia:  Controls their destiny. If the Bulldogs win out they are in the Final Four.  Auburn and Georgia Tech in Athens are probable wins but a slip up could happen. The UMass game that splits those two games, also at home, is a joke.  Then the SEC title game with Alabama is a must as the Bulldogs would have to hope they would be among many two loss teams to make the Final Four (if Bama beats them). Do not expect that to happen.


Oklahoma:  Beat Oklahoma State this week in Norman, Kansas in a week, also at home, then win at West Virginia in a Friday night game in Morgantown.  After that, win the Big Twelve Championship game against the Mountaineers, Cyclones or any other lucky team and OU still needs help to make the Final Four. Fact of the matter, if will be harder for the Sooners to win these four games than most think and another loss OU is done for the season.  Help includes losses by Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia to Alabama, and Michigan to Ohio State.  OU is not in a bad position but it could be better. Oklahoma does not control their destiny and the variables are many.


Ohio State: Win out and they become like Oklahoma.  The Buckeyes do not control their destiny and the variables are many.  Tough game with Michigan State (road), Maryland (road) and Michigan (home) are not guaranteed.  Then a match-up with Northwestern (probable) in the Big Ten Championship game will be a tough one too.  Ohio State making the Final Four can be accomplished but it will take better effort from the Bucks in the final games of the year.


LSU, Washington State, West Virginia, and the balance of the committee’s ranked teams have to be living right to make the Final Four. West Virginia could win out and beat Oklahoma twice but would still need others above to lose. LSU’s ranking of 7th currently is questionable and to me a political ranking to pump up an Alabama selection in case of a loss by the Tide. Washington State has tough non-conference games and the PAC Championship game and even going 11-1 their chance of making the Final Four is not good at all.  Central Florida can go undefeated again and claim anther National Title as they are not being picked to be in the Final Four.  And for a fact, their claim for a Championship would be as valid as the Final Four Champion.


The current committee ranking of week two.

Alabama 9 0 .000 W9
Clemson 9 0 .000 W9
Notre Dame 9 0 .000 W9
Michigan 8 1 .889 W8
Georgia 8 1 .889 W2
Oklahoma 8 1 .889 W3
LSU 7 2 .778 L1
Washington State 8 1 .889 W5
West Virginia 7 1 .875 W2
Ohio State 8 1 .889 W1
Kentucky 7 2 .778 L1
UCF 8 0 .000 W8
Syracuse 7 2 .778 W3
North Carolina State 6 2 .750 W1
Florida 6 3 .667 L2
Mississippi State 6 3 .667 W2
Boston College 7 2 .778 W3
Michigan State 6 3 .667 W2
Texas 6 3 .667 L2
Penn State 6 3 .667 L1
Iowa 6 3 .667 L2
Iowa State 5 3 .625 W4
Fresno State 8 1 .889 W7
Auburn 6 3 .667 W2
Washington 7 3 .700 W1


Feature photo:  Levistadium.com

















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About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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