Michigan is now on the outside of the College Football Playoff top-four looking in.
U-M fell to No. 5 in the CFP rankings on Tuesday; just days after the Wolverines lost 30-27 at Ohio State on Saturday in a double overtime thriller. Michigan was previously ranked No. 3, but its loss against OSU dropped them from the CFP top four, and its chances of making CFP depends on if certain teams lose ahead of them, or if the CFP committee deems their resume good enough to make the final four.
At the moment, defending national champion Alabama remains at No. 1 and is currently the only undefeated power five conference team. Ohio State, who had been ranked No.2 heading into its match up with U-M, stayed put in the second position, with Clemson (No. 3) and Washington (No. 4) rounding out the top-four.
Ranked-five, Michigan is the highest ranked team with two losses, along with Wisconsin (6), Penn State (7), Colorado (8), Oklahoma (9) and Oklahoma State (10), who all are vying for a possible playoff spot if someone in the top-four were to lose this weekend.
Now the scenarios come into play. With the Big Ten playing a huge role.
Like Michigan, OSU’s regular season is complete. Since the Buckeyes lost to Penn State earlier this season, the Nittany Lions won the tiebreaker atop the Big Ten East division standings, and will play Big Ten West division champions, Wisconsin, in the Big Ten Championship game this Saturday in Indianapolis, Ind. The winner could take one of the top-four spots, especially if Clemson or Washington loses in their respective conference championship games.
If chaos happens, let’s says both Clemson and Washington lose, and then it’s possible, while slim, that the committee may chose Michigan due to its notable wins against three top-10 opponents, a list that includes wins against Wisconsin (6), Penn State (7) and Colorado (8). And if that scenario plays out, then two of those wins would be against conference championship winners, too.
But obviously that would mean two teams would make the final-four who didn't win their conference championship, that being Ohio State and Michigan of course. Will it happen? Or will they chose only conference champion winners? Who knows?
Let the debate continue till the final CFP rankings are released this Sunday at noon ET on ESPN.