The Buckeyes have won and Nebraska is the team fate has chosen to face the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship. But the Cornhuskers face an immediate test this week against the Wisconsin Badgers. Even though they have only a single loss to Michigan State, the Cornhuskers have not been media darlings this year. The computer likes them though, despite their 27-22 squeaker against McNeese State.
Aggie, Aggie, Aggie
Auburn has now been dropped for its second loss and has been taken out of the playoff picture. Their 41-38 loss to Texas A&M was a heartbreaker for Auburn, but a breath of new life for a few teams hoping they wouldn’t crash the Playoff as an at-large. Undefeated Mississippi State plays Alabama this week, and is the only team remaining who could finish with 1 loss and outside the Conference Championship.
Defeated In Conference
No Big 12 team can win their conference with an unblemished conference record after TCU’s handling of Kansas State. And, it seems, there is a good chance that whoever does win the conference will not be the same team with the best end-of-year ranking, spelling trouble for a conference who wants “One, True Champion.” TCU, is now in the on-deck circle but possessess a dismal 64% chance of winning into the playoff.
A Wild Card
With the chance of a Big 12 Champion sitting outside the playoff and a few SEC runner-ups knocking hard on the door of an at-large spot, it is worth bringing up the prospect of a Wild Card Game. The purpose of the Wild Card game is to try teams who are not participating in Championship Games for their conference in a nationally staged game. A 1-loss Big 12 or SEC runner up would be in prime position to play in this game, through the winner of such a game would still have to compete in the polls against other conference champions for a playoff spot.
Oregon and Arizona State have been knocking down opponenets left and right, and marching toward their December 5th Championship. With Auburn’s loss, UCLA ascends to the On Deck Circle, but their 43% odds have them cheering for ASU (whom they shallacked 62-27) to drop a game before the end of the year. OSU and WSU may not put up much of a fight, but the rivalary game against Arizona could be pivotal.