After checking in at No. 8 on the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, one would think Minnesota is in a good spot to push for the top four.
It is not lost on anyone that the Gophers are already facing long odds. Beating No. 12 Wisconsin in a hot rivalry game during incredible conditions is not a given. Beyond that, taking down No. 1 Ohio State in the B1G Championship Game would be even tougher.
However, were Minnesota to accomplish those two things, that would give the Gophers two top-10 wins and a third win against a (current) top-15 team. The one loss would be to a team inside the top 20.
Regardless of anyone’s feelings about head coach P.J. Fleck and the Gophers, that resume would stack up against the best in the country. Surely that list of victories would be enough to get into the Playoff, right?
Not necessarily. According to ESPN’s Playoff Predictor, the Gophers would have just 48% of making the final four, even if they win out against the Badgers and Buckeyes.
Astonishingly, that means a 12-1 B1G Champion Minnesota team has a 52% chance to miss the Playoff entirely:
No. 8 Minnesota still has a path to the CFP.
FPI gives them just a 3% chance to beat Wisconsin (Saturday on ABC) and then upset Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
But if the Golden Gophers do just that, the Allstate Playoff Predictor gives them a 48% shot at the CFP. pic.twitter.com/OBQPeQGRDO
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 27, 2019
Obviously, this will all get sorted out very soon. But the fact that we’re even having the conversation about a 12-1 B1G Champion with that resume facing better odds to miss the Playoff certainly illustrates that something is wrong with this system.