... Notre Dame beats Stanford
Washington beats Washington State
Stanford beats Southern California
West Virginia beats Oklahoma
Texas Christian beats Oklahoma
Michigan beats Ohio State
Ohio State beats Wisconsin
Auburn beats Alabama
Georgia beats Auburn
South Carolina beats Clemson (as Clemson looks ahead to Miami)
Pittsburgh beats Miami (which could happen in the cold weather at Hines Field)
Clemson beats Miami
That leaves us with:
- Washington State at 9-3, so they're out
- Washington at 10-2, but no conference championship and few high-quality wins, so they're out
- Southern California at 10-3, so they're out
- Oklahoma at 10-3, so they're out (though their resume might keep 'em on the periphery of the conversation until the committee remembers their two-game losing streak)
- Ohio State at 10-3, and they're out more decisively than Oklahoma because OU thrashed 'em at the Horseshoe
- Miami at 11-2, but with no conference championship and a two-game losing streak, so they're out
- Auburn at 10-3, so they're out
- Georgia, 12-1 and our top seed; they're in unquestionably as the one-loss SEC champion
And our playoff picture narrows to six candidates for the last three spots:
- Alabama at 11-1, but having really beaten no one of consequence all year and no conference championship
- Clemson at 11-2, ACC champ but with an ugly loss to Syracuse and recent loss to South Carolina
- Notre Dame 10-2, a bad loss to Miami but a close loss to Georgia and wins over the Pac-12 champion Stanford and runner-up Southern California (along with Wake Forest, North Carolina State, Navy and a few other quality wins), making them the de facto Pac-12 champion
- Texas Christian, 11-2, Big 12 champion and vengeance on Oklahoma
- Wisconsin at 12-1, but with few quality wins and no conference championship
... and ... wait for it ...
- Central Florida, at 13-0, with wins over 10-2 South Florida, 11-2 Memphis (twice), triple-option Navy (more impressively than did Notre Dame) and a conference championship in the AAC
Alabama's getting in on name recognition, and there's no way the Tide is snubbed when they only have one loss. Ain't happening, and we all know it. The only way they're out is if Auburn annihilates them.
A Clemson with two losses, in particular one to a team with a losing record, is no lock, but they are the defending national champion.
Notre Dame's resume is strongest of all these teams (save Oklahoma), except Clemson beat Miami and Miami crushed Notre Dame. But Notre Dame is Notre Dame.
Texas Christian's played a solid schedule, and winning the Big 12 over the most dangerous offense in years is quite a feather in the cap.
If all this happens, it should be:
Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas Christian and Central Florida.
But if all this happens, it will be:
Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame.
Sucks for UCF. No matter what they do and how good they are, the power conference fat cats will never allow them to sit at the big boys' table.