The most chaotic College Football Playoff scenarios that will make fans cringe

Sep 9, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) fends of Texas Longhorns defensive end Ethan Burke (91) as he scrambles out of the pocket at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Texas defeated Alabama 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr. -USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe (4) fends of Texas Longhorns defensive end Ethan Burke (91) as he scrambles out of the pocket at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Texas defeated Alabama 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr. -USA TODAY Sports /
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The penultimate College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday night and though it’s still the same top eight teams, we finally got some movement amongst the logjam of the elite. Michigan beat Ohio State in the biggest game of the season, so the one-loss Buckeyes fell out of the top four and the committee welcomes Tate Rodemaker and Florida State back in.

Of the top eight teams, only Ohio State is idle on championship weekend, and with two head-to-head matchups within the elite group of teams, we’re bound to finally get the chaos that this season has been building to.

There are plenty of chaotic scenarios and all eight teams are still alive to make the CFP. There are even scenarios where Ohio State sneaks in through the backdoor. That’s how wild this weekend has the potential to be, so let’s dig into a few of the craziest outcomes for the final four-team playoff.

Sep 9, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) hauls in a touchdown pass over Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) hauls in a touchdown pass over Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

No SEC teams

The SEC has never missed out on the CFP and twice the conference has gotten two teams in. Both times, in 2017 and 2021, those two teams were Alabama and Georgia, and this season there is a chance that both of those teams make the top four again. However, there are also scenarios on the table where the SEC gets left out for the first time.

So, how could the SEC champion miss the CFP?

  • Alabama beats Georgia
  • Michigan beats Iowa
  • Washington beats Oregon
  • FSU beats Louisville
  • Texas beats Oklahoma State

Right now, Alabama is at No. 8, the lowest-ranked team with a shot at the playoff. So, a win over No. 1 Georgia could catapult them right into the top 4. However, the committee has been reluctant to disregard head-to-head games so far and that’s why Bama has been stuck behind Texas all year.

The committee would be disincentivizing strong non-conference games by putting Alabama in over Texas and setting that precedent as we head into the 12-team playoff. Therefore, in this scenario the top four could look like this:

  1. Michigan
  2. Washington
  3. FSU
  4. Texas

That would feel like an underwhelming ending to a great year of college football.