Michigan’s Non-Conference Schedule May Decide Its College Football Playoff Fate
The latest college football playoff rankings came out with the (9-0) Michigan Wolverines ranked third in the nation. In the next 2 weeks, the Wolverines host (3-6) Nebraska, then 21st-ranked (7-2) Illinois. Then, they face #2 (9-0) Ohio State on the road in a game that should decide the Big-10 East champion.
Should Michigan win its next 2, then lose to Ohio State, the Wolverines may not make the college football playoff, even with an 11-1 record. It that becomes the case, Michigan's non-conference schedule would be to blame.
The maize and blue played Colorado State, Hawaii and an FBS team, Connecticut, before facing any Big-10 foes. Combined, those teams have a 9-20 record, with FBS Connecticut leading the way at 5-5. Both Hawaii (2-8) and Colorado State (2-7) have just 2 wins in a down season for their conference, the Mountain West.
Buckeyes Non-Conference Schedule Should Cause No Harm
Ohio State’s non-conference schedule was tougher than Michigan's, having faced #20 Notre Dame (6-3), Arkansas State (2-7) and the MAC’s first-place team, (7-3) Toledo. So, if Ohio State remains unbeaten, then loses a close one to Michigan, they may still get into the playoff as a 1-loss team. The same can't be said for Michigan.
Sports Illustrated Senior College Sports Writer, Pat Forde, discussed this and a slew of college football playoff topics with VSiN’s Mitch Moss and Pauly Howard on “Follow the Money.”