The prospect of an unbeaten and Big Ten champion Wisconsin poses a conundrum for the College Football Playoff choice committee. The Badgers have been No. 9 within the first CFP rating, and whereas there might be motion among the many high 10 when the second rating is revealed tonight (7 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN App), every of the highest 5 groups received in Week 10, limiting how far they’ll seemingly climb.
If it have been so simple as being undefeated, each Wisconsin and Miami could be within the high 4 proper now. The choice committee has a special method to rating groups that goes in opposition to the grain of the outdated BCS formulation. The committee prioritizes high quality of wins and made it clear final week it believes Wisconsin is missing in that clbad.
While the mere suggestion that an undefeated Power 5 convention champion may very well be omitted of the playoff infuriates some and easily bewilders many, it is a state of affairs the committee hasn’t been confronted with but.
“I think that would be very difficult to do,” stated Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who spent the previous three seasons on the choice committee earlier than his time period expired. “There’s no part of me that says if you go undefeated as a Power 5 [team] and win your conference championship — and you’re not going to be in the final four? I don’t see that. That would shock me.”
It could be extra stunning than Ohio State getting in final season with out even successful its division. It could be extra stunning than TCU dropping from No. Three to No. 6 within the last week in 2014. But with 13 folks tasked with selecting the 4 finest groups — not the 4 most deserving — we have additionally discovered there actually is not any precedent.
“There’s no part of me that says if you go undefeated as a Power 5 and win your conference championship, and you’re not going to be in the final four? I don’t see that. That would shock me.”
Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez
Wisconsin (9-Zero) goes to wish some badist and has zero wiggle room. ESPN’s Football Power Index provides the Badgers a 99.7 p.c likelihood to win the Big Ten West, and they’d seemingly face the winner of Saturday’s sport between Michigan State and Ohio State within the Big Ten title sport. ESPN Analytics ranks Wisconsin’s energy of schedule at No. 73, and Wisconsin has no wins over groups presently ranked within the committee’s high 25. Of the groups ranked forward of the Badgers in the latest CFP high 10, excluding Ohio State and Penn State, which misplaced this week, Alabama is the next-lowest ranked at No. 46.
“Strength of schedule is just not there,” committee chair Kirby Hocutt stated final Tuesday. “Their best win in the eyes of the selection committee is against a 5-3 Northwestern team, so the selection committee looks forward to watching Wisconsin continue to play, and looks forward to them playing quality opponents in the weeks ahead.”
Wisconsin’s subsequent two opponents are house video games in opposition to Iowa (6-Three) and Michigan (7-2), two groups which have a great likelihood of cracking the committee’s high 25 tonight. Of course, Alvarez is conscious of the Catch-22: Should Wisconsin win every of the subsequent two weeks, these opponents would seemingly drop out of the highest 25 once more consequently.
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“In the regular [season] schedule you could have two, for sure,” Alvarez stated of Wisconsin’s attainable ranked opponents, “and Northwestern’s not far from being ranked. I think everybody’s gotta be smart enough to realize, who are quality wins? It’s not always just are they a ranked opponent? A quality win, how many wins did they have?”
One metric that’s helpful is ESPN’s energy of file. Essentially, it measures the probabilities that a mean top-25 crew would have the identical file in opposition to the identical schedule. In Wisconsin’s case, a mean top-25 crew would have a 33 p.c likelihood to be 9-Zero at this stage of the season. For comparability’s sake, that crew would have a 5 p.c likelihood to be 9-Zero taking part in’s Georgia’s schedule.
With each Ohio State and Penn State shedding in Week 10, the Badgers will transfer up just a few spots tonight and turn out to be the Big Ten’s highest-ranked crew, however they may nonetheless be behind not less than three one-loss groups in Notre Dame, Clemson and Oklahoma. If all of these groups win out, and the SEC champ is in, which of these groups would fall out at Wisconsin’s expense? What if Oklahoma and Wisconsin each end with wins over Ohio State? What if Notre Dame and Wisconsin each end with wins over Michigan State? The committee will examine widespread opponents.
If the Badgers do end undefeated and win the Big Ten title, they’re projected to have a 93.7 p.c likelihood of ending within the high 4 of energy of file. Eleven of the previous 12 CFP members have completed within the high 4, with the one exception being Ohio State in 2014 (sixth).
“All I keep hearing is ‘if they run the table, if they run the table,'” Alvarez stated. “I’ve heard that since the first week. Well, there aren’t many that do that.”
If Wisconsin needs to go away little question with the committee that it is a top-four crew, it does not have a lot selection.