After the final results from rivalry weekend served the College Football Playoff Selection Committee its worst nightmare on a silver platter, the 2016 conference championship week comes shadowed with uncertainties.
The Big Ten West champions No. 6 University of Wisconsin battle the victors from the East, No. 7 Penn State University, in Indianapolis Saturday at 7 p.m. for both the 2016 Big Ten title and hope to crack the top four in Sunday’s final CFP Poll.
Yet, perhaps what’s most bizarre about this year’s Big Ten Championship is the widely shared belief that the two title contenders, Wisconsin and Penn State, are the third and fourth best teams in the conference respectively.
With a Washington or Clemson loss and a win over No. 6 Penn State in the Big Ten Championship Game this Saturday, UW would have promising odds to sneak into the No. 4 spot in the 2016 College Football Playoff.
The entirety of the playoff picture is hard to grasp with the numerous avenues and possibilities that could open or close with the pending results of next weekend’s conference championship lineup across the country.
As for Wisconsin’s chances, the pathway to 2016 College Football Playoff is rather simple.
First thing’s first: The Badgers have to beat Penn State in Indianapolis or else there is no shot to begin with.
If Wisconsin can beat the surging Nittany Lions, then UW still needs either No. 5 University of Washington or No. 3 Clemson University to lose in their respective conference championships.
Football: Leo Musso’s halftime speech, defensive stinginess in second half keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe in Madison for 13th straight yearLeo Musso studied the faces of his teammates on the University of Wisconsin football team and saw expressions of shock. Read…
Washington takes on No. 9 University of Colorado in the Pac 12 for the Pac 12 title Friday night at 8 p.m., and Clemson battles No. 23 Virginia Tech for the ACC championship while the Badgers take on Penn State at 7 p.m.
On the other side of the field from the Badgers, the exact same scenario Wisconsin must witness holds true for Penn State as well, with the one difference being a Penn State victory over UW of course.
Yet, according to FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 College Football Playoff predictions probability, the Nittany Lions have a slightly lesser chance (45 percent) to make make the top four than the Badgers do (57 percent) with a win over the other.
Granted, the new playoff format for post-season college football is infantile at best, and there will always be a greener pasture with six, eight or 16 teams, but the inclusion of four teams is still far better method than the infamously limited Bowl Championship Series system it replaced in 2014.