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Can 3 Big 10 Teams Make The Playoff? Our Algorithm Says Yes

By: Alex Marcheschi

Nostradamus, Nate Silver, the creepy girl from Pirates of The Caribbean and The PUP List. Those are probably the most famous predictors of the future the world has ever seen. We’ve dusted the cobwebs off of our patented algorithm that successfully predicted the match up and champion of the 2012 Super Bowl, the Cavs most recent title run and Kemba Walker’s magical run to the 2011 NCAA Championship.

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Now that we have proven our algorithm at least works sometimes (s/o Nate) we can move on to our predictions for this year’s College Football Playoff outcome.

This year has us set up absolutely perfectly for raw, unadulterated chaos to occur.

There are some very important conference championship games left to be played this weekend. If you’re a fan of seeing people cry online like I am, then you must root for upsets of both Washington and Clemson. Why? I’m glad you asked.

If Washington loses they will have two losses in the poopy conference that is the Pac 12, thus eliminating them from the playoff. They could easily lose, Colorado is damn good. If Clemson loses, they will also have 2 losses in a lesser conference. I genuinely think they could lose, Va Tech is a big game team and they’ll be amped for this one. And as much as Clemson fans hate to admit it, that classic Clemson juju still lingers. They like to consider themselves a powerhouse, but in reality they’re the Butler basketball of college football. Anyway, those two losses would open up the door for two Big 10 teams to push their way into the playoff. Enter Michigan and Penn State.

But what about Colorado you say? Well, a win against Washington would surely be impressive, but Michigan’s resume is much better than Colorado’s and they have a straight up win against the Buffs this year. If the Buffs and Wolverines end up with the same record, Michigan gets in over them every time.

So, I think if both Clemson and Washington lose, Michigan would jump up to third. The fourth spot then comes down to the result of the Big 10 Championship.

This is where it gets interesting. As of right now, Penn State is a 2.5 point underdog to Wisconsin. I don’t understand that line at all, Penn State money-line seems like the smartest bet of all time. As a Vanderbilt football fan, I know that there is one thing you should never bet against: James Franklin with a chip on his shoulder. You know he’s been giving his boys the “nobody believes in us” speech all week and I wouldn’t doubt if they come out and SMACK Wisco. Franklin is douchey, but he knows how to get his boys ready for war.

If Penn State throttles Wisconsin, which I think they will (please don’t sleep on McSorley), then the Nittany Lions deserve to leapfrog Clemson, Washington, Colorado and Wisconsin. Being the Big 10 Champion this year is simply too impressive to ignore.

PSU’s resume with 2 losses would easily be better than Clemson, Colorado and Washington’s 2 loss resumes. In this scenario, those three teams combined would have one win over a top 10 team, and it would be Colorado’s over Washington. If the #9 Buffs beat the #4 Huskies, they don’t deserve a higher ranking than a #8 Penn State team with wins over #2 OSU and #6 Wisconsin. This would make the Nittany Lions the 4 seed in the playoff, because Michigan destroyed them in the regular season.

Of course, this would give us an Ohio State v Michigan rematch, which would make the NCAA execs cream their jeans. You can’t not factor in potential TV ratings into this, and I could see the calls in the Big 10 Championship, the ACC Championship and the Pac 12 Championship heavily leaning one way, setting up this bracket:


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I think Bama beats PSU in a surprisingly close one, people sleep on Big 10 defenses way too hard and Penn State’s is extremely formidable. This vaults Saban back into the ‘ship. Just don’t see how PSU can contain Jalen Hurts in a dome.

Then we have the rematch of the century, which will happen in a dome too. This is huge because when Urban gets his boys in a dome on a fast track, it’s lights out. Harbaugh is a great recruiter, but if the game becomes a track meet, it’s curtains for the Wolverines. If Michigan couldn’t contain JT and Curtis outdoors, no chance they can hang in a dome. Urban is 100 percent living inside of Harbaugh’s head right now too, no chance Jimmy can keep his emotions in check in a rematch. He’s a great coach, but his douchyness always reers its ugly head when it matters most. Buckeyes win the rematch in a blowout.

This sets up a National Championship rematch from 2015. Bama vs OSU. My prediction is that Bama gets confused when they face a truly dynamic offense for the first time this season and Urban’s reign as the greatest coach in college football truly begins.

Ohio State is the youngest team in the FBS right now. All the other coaches would hate to admit it, but they’re all shaking in their boots. He’s essentially turning OSU football into the gridiron version of Coach Cal’s UK basketball program. If you’re a blue chip kid who wants to definitely be an NFL star and win a ring, you go to Ohio State. It’s that simple.

Welcome to Urban’s Reign of Terror. He’s 5-0 against Michigan and he’ll stay undefeated until he leaves to coach the Browns. College football fans will be saltier than a soft baked pretzel if this happens, and I can’t wait to bottle their tears and chug them every morning.


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