When No. 3 LSU lost 29-0 to No. 1 Alabama Saturday night, it opened up a spot in Tuesday night’s latest edition of the College Football Playoff selection committee’s Final Four.

There is a very deserving team ready to slide into that fourth spot. It’s the Michigan Wolverines.

They are, at least for now, the best of the one-loss teams.

The three undefeated teams who will be at the top of the rankings— Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame — are all deserving. The debate among some one-loss teams like Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Ohio State will linger on, but for now, it’s obvious.

It’s Michigan.

The Playoff selection committee looks at a lot of data, but it really comes down to two things: Who did you beat, and who beat you. There’s a huge disparity there between Michigan and Georgia and the others, in my opinion, but there’s also an ever-so-slight difference between the Wolverines and Bulldogs.

First, let’s look at the losses.

Michigan’s only loss was in Week 1, to undefeated Notre Dame on the road where the difference between winning and losing actually came down to Notre Dame’s first two drives in the first quarter. The Irish scored twice to take a 14-0 lead, but Michigan outplayed them the rest of the way, only to come up short 24-17. It is, by far, the best loss among the one-loss teams.

Read More

There is big news coming to the upcoming 2022-23 Big Ten football season (and NFL season). Ohio online sports betting will be officially launching on January 1, 2023. Ohio will join other Big Ten states where sports betting has become legalized such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois and more.

Georgia’s loss was to LSU and it was a true beat-down. Georgia lost by 20 to a team that now has two losses. There is no shame in losing to No. 1 Alabama, of course, but now LSU’s second loss is starting to look pretty bad. LSU lost at Florida, and just when you want to say that it’s really hard to win in the The Swamp, look what Missouri did Saturday. They beat the Gators 38-17 in Gainesville for their first SEC win of the season. That’s a bad look.

Advantage, Michigan. By far.

Let’s look at the wins. Georgia’s best win so far was against the same Florida team that we just determined was a fraud. You might say that Saturday’s win over Kentucky was great, but let’s remember that UK’s best win is against a three-loss Mississippi State team.  There’s really nothing impressive there on Georgia’s resume.

The Wolverines’ resume is far better. Michigan has beaten a Wisconsin team that was once ranked No. 4 in the country and a Penn State team was as high as No. 9. The combined score of those two Michigan wins, both blowouts? Try 80-20.

Again, advantage Michigan. And again, by far.

But here’s the biggest thing to remember here in this first week of November. Being in the top-four this week doesn’t mean diddly squat. And if you want to compare Georgia and Michigan, there’s this all-important issue:

Georgia really does control its own Playoff destiny — and Michigan, amazingly, doesn’t. And that’s because of Georgia.

If Georgia wins out and then beats No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, it’s in the Playoffs without question. That’s a 100-percent guaranteed lock. If the Bulldogs lose to Alabama, there’s no way a two-loss Georgia team makes the Playoffs unless there’s totally chaos with Notre Dame and/or Clemson and others this month.

Georgia’s fate is in its own hands, plain and simple.

Michigan, for as great as they are playing, can’t say that.

Even if the Wolverines win out — which means beating Ohio State and winning the Big Ten title game —  Georgia beating Alabama in the SEC title game could cause a huge problem for the Wolverines.

Say Georgia wins and is in. Say Clemson and Notre Dame finish the season unbeaten. They’d be in for sure, too. So if the selection committee is evaluating Alabama and Michigan for that final spot, don’t you think they’d lean toward Alabama, who’s clearly been the best team in the country all season? Michigan could be on a 12-game winning streak and looking awesome, and they might still be out.

If that happens, there will be a major roar throughout Michigan — and all of Big Ten country, for that matter. When Alabama took the fourth spot last year over Big Ten champion Ohio State, it was justified because the Buckeyes had a two losses, including one ugly 31-point beatdown at Iowa.

This would be different. Much different. If Michigan is on a 12-game winning streak and is the Big Ten champion, it would be an outrage if they didn’t make the Playoffs. But it could happen if that scenario plays out with a one-loss Alabama team as the competition.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that. For Michigan, winning out is critical, of course. But rooting for Alabama to win out is probably a good idea, too.