A final look at ESPN's Playoff Predictor ahead of selection committee's final rankings
On the Sunday morning following the season’s final Saturday college football is deep into the countdown for both the bowl game matchups and College Football Playoff selections to be revealed.
With just hours left before the future officially is written, ESPN Stats and Info has released their final Allstate Playoff Predictor rankings, and their projections are what many assumed would be the case, and many others feared.
Out of the Big Ten, the 6-0 Ohio State Buckeyes are an 89.3 percent certainty to make the final four, trailing only undefeated 11-0 Alabama and well ahead of 83.8 Clemson at 10-1. This was expected and not a surprise in the least. Despite the Buckeyes playing barely half the amount of games of the rest of the country, they entered the season a playoff favorite and never relinquished their post.
“Even though Ohio State only played six games, going 6-0 against that schedule was an accomplishment,” the Stats and Info release stated. “In fact, Ohio State ranks 4th in Strength of Record, ahead of Clemson, Cincinnati and Oklahoma. Plus, the Buckeyes were ranked 4th by the committee last week and won the Big Ten Championship this week.”
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, despite yet another championship game blowout loss, this time a 34-10 bludgeoning to likely playoff bound Clemson, are by far the most likely pick at the number four spot, according to Stats and Info.
The Irish are at 66.8 percent likelihood of being selected, while the next closest, Texas A&M, is at 33.6 percent despite their big road win over Tennessee to end the season and finish up 8-1. If the Irish go fourth to Alabama’s expected number one, it would set up a rematch of the 2012 BCS national championship, a game Alabama won 42-14 down in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Those are the predictions and ESPN Stats and Info is sticking to them. The official selections will be known before the day is out.