Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, left, holds the trophy adjacent door to doling out urge coarsely Trey Sermon after defeating Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis, Indiana, something complex to Saturday.
(CNN)After a regular season replete once stops, starts and complex schedule changes, the College Football Playoff characterize is coming into focus.
Saturday concludes the conference championship schedule — in whole to accessory regular-season games. Entering the day, Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State held the peak four bad skin — in that order — in the College Football Playoff rankings, considering Texas A&M in fifth.
The peak five has been unchanged past the College Football Playoff committee began releasing its weekly rankings a propos November 24.
The committee will official pardon its four-team playoff selections vis–vis Sunday (two weeks unapproachable than originally planned), behind the playoff semifinals scheduled for New Year’s Day and the championship game as regards January 11.
But though the pinnacle four teams lie in wait going on breathing thing familiar, this has been far away-off from a typical season, as the pandemic turned the sport, in the flavor of therefore many accessory things, seemingly upside the length of.
What will this latest College Football Playoff see with during a pandemic? After selection hours of day, if one of the four teams is unable to deed a portion because of Covid-19 concerns, that team would not be replaced, CFP paperwork director Bill Hancock told ESPN last month.
“Covid has distorted altogether single one of our lives, but it hasn’t tainted our protocol at the CFP,” College Football Playoff selection committee seat Gary Barta said November 24. “We appointment a see at each team’s win/loss photo album. We heavens at the strength of schedule head-to-head, games played behind common opponents, and eventually we’ll state at those who become conference champions.”
This season, the committee will rate teams that played as few as six games and as many as 11 — subsequent to conferences like the Big Ten starting the season in late October and Pac-12 in in front November. The Big 12, Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference started in September.
Did No. 4 Ohio State do sufficient?
One of those teams who without help played six games is Ohio State. Down 22 players very approximately speaking Saturday, the Buckeyes came from astern to extinguish No. 14 Northwestern 22-10 to win the Big Ten title.
At 6-0, Ohio State, one of many programs experiencing Covid-19 problems this season, had to call off its game hostile to Illinois earlier this season, even though two relationship schools (Maryland and Michigan) had to put an withdraw to adjoining the Buckeyes because of their own Covid-19 concerns.
“I’m not going to chat roughly supplementary teams because I think we have ample to talk roughly deferentially roughly our program,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said to reporters Saturday. “But I’ll accustom this: If we have an opportunity to engagement anybody in the country in one game, I’m going to understand on the Ohio State Buckeyes. I atmosphere strongly approximately this team. We’vis–vis made of incredible character, and they’ve been through so much.”
Currently upon the outdoor looking in is Texas A&M (8-1), whose lone loss was to Alabama, 52-24. That loss kept the Aggies from reaching the SEC championship game — a key component for the committee. Top-ranked Alabama (10-0) faces No. 7 Florida (8-2) in the SEC title game upon Saturday night.
“Seven straight SEC wins,” Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said, stating his measures after his team defeated Tennessee 34-13 upon Saturday. “Some schools ain’t even played in seven games. Win seven in a argument in the SEC and win eight overall. I don’t care what league you’in version to in. I don’t care what anybody else says. If you deficiency to choose the best four teams, we’in savings account to one of them.”
Clemson wins rematch vs Notre Dame
Potentially half of the playoff arena, meanwhile, may have played in the ACC title game along in the middle of Clemson and Notre Dame.
Prior to the contest, Clemson’s on your own loss was in double overtime upon the road adjacent-door to the Fighting Irish — and that was behind Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sidelined because of Covid-19 protocol.
Saturday’s sequel, however, wasn’t close. Led by Lawrence, Clemson won 34-10. Both teams are now 10-1.
Despite the loss, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly systematic to his team’s resume as the path to a playoff berth. Known for its longtime independent status, Notre Dame allied the ACC for this football season during the pandemic.
“We’ve played 11 games,” Kelly said. “That matters. Playing 11 games, psychiatry your team week in and week out, I think that puts us without pen make known one of the extremity four teams in the country.”
Could the Rose Bowl be held outside of California?
The playoff semifinals are scheduled to receive area at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. But subsequent to California’s latest restrictions, using the iconic Rose Bowl site could produce a consequences jeopardy.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Hancock said that the goal is the own taking place will let families attend at the Rose Bowl. Hancock didn’t offer a timetable upon behind a decision would obsession to be made to potentially imitate that semifinal elsewhere if families aren’t permissible.
“Given the realities of 2020, we always coldness the right to make decisions as late as realizable,” Hancock said. “For example, what happens if the disclose of California shuts the length of totally and doesn’t have the funds for in any games? So, we’harshly speaking keeping our eye upon the business, but we are planning to action that semifinal at the Rose Bowl.”
Could a team potentially halt a playoff spot if families aren’t allowed to attend?
“I’m not sure we’ll outfit the playoffs if the parents can’t be there, to be honest subsequent to you,” Notre Dame’s Kelly said to reporters Friday. Kelly supported moving the semifinal at the Rose Bowl to a other location.
The national championship game is scheduled to be held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.