Hypothetical College Football Playoffs 2012: Week 10

Despite Their Continued Drop in the BCS Rankings, it’s Hard to Ignore Oregon

Now that the dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (following the 2014 season), this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-two-years feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (courtesy of BCSGuru for teams outside of top 25), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. Also, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Top Eight Seeds (in order): Alabama, Kansas StateNotre Dame, Oregon, LSU, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina

Semifinal 1: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Oregon

Semifinal 2: #2 Kansas State vs. #3 Notre Dame

National Championship Game: Alabama over Kansas State

While there was plenty of upheaval in and around the top 10 this weekend, we also saw some separation begin to occur. There’s little doubt that the top four teams listed here are the best in the country. Now the problems concern where they’re supposed to be seeded, and why we can’t just skip the waiting period and have a playoff this year. As SB Nation’s Bill Connelly so accurately pointed out yesterday, “We have a playoff emergency.”

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…


First Round (winners in italics)

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC champ) vs. #39 UL-Monroe Warhawks (Sun Belt champ)

#2 Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12 champ) vs. #34 Tulsa Golden Hurricane (C-USA champ)

#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (at-large) vs. #28 Toledo Rockets (MAC champ)

#4 Oregon Ducks (Pac-12 champ) vs. #25 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (WAC champ)

#5 LSU Tigers (at-large) vs. #20 Nebraska Cornhuskers (B1G champ)

#6 Georgia Bulldogs (at-large) vs. #19 Boise State Broncos (MWC champ)

#7 Florida Gators (at-large) vs. #10 Louisville Cardinals (Big East champ)

#8 South Carolina Gamecocks (at-large) vs. #9 Florida State Seminoles (ACC champ)


#1 Alabama vs. #9 Florida State

#2 Kansas State vs. #7 Florida

#3 Notre Dame vs. #6 Georgia

#4 Oregon vs. #5 LSU


#1 Alabama vs. #4 Oregon

#2 Kansas State vs. #3 Notre Dame

National Championship

#1 Alabama over #2 Kansas State

As mentioned earlier, there’s a very distinct top four right now, which is why we end up mimicking the four-team setup once the 16-team playoff gets to the semifinals. Additionally, you’ll see a pretty big disparity between the quality of the top eight and their opponents. A lot of this is due to the logjam of SEC teams at the top, though. As the season shakes out, we’ll see more conference champs move up into those top eight spots, and the field will shift dramatically. Also of note: Who wouldn’t want to watch Oregon and Louisiana Tech in the first round of a hypothetical playoff? I mean, we’re talking fantastic television and about 1,200 total yards of offense. Count me in.

Be sure to check back on these each week, as we lay out a four- and 16-team playoff based on current BCS standings.

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