While we are still two weeks of action away from seeing the first ranking list released by the college football playoff selection committee, that does not mean that we cannot all start looking at the schedule and speculating as to which games will carry a tremendous impact on that list. Some of the action today, especially in the Big 12, will go a long way to keeping hope alive for some teams while extinguishing the flame for others.
However, that does not mean that other conferences do not have important games as well. Here is a look at each conference and the games that will have the biggest impact on the national championship playoff.
While there are no real upset alerts in the Big Ten this week, any game involving Michigan State and Ohio State holds the conference's hopes of making the playoff in its hands. This week, Rutgers travels to Ohio State, and Michigan State travels to Indiana.
In the Pac-12, the conference's only real hope is that the Oregon Ducks can manage to go undefeated the rest of the way. That challenge starts tonight as the Ducks play host to the Washington Huskies.
The ACC has the marquee matchup of the day as No. 5 Notre Dame travels to Tallahassee to take on the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles. If Florida State wins this game, it should be a lock for the playoff as the Seminoles do not face much of a challenge after this game. If Notre Dame wins, their odds are good as well, even though, they do still have a couple of top-25 matchups left on the schedule
The SEC has three games that could have an impact on the college football playoff. No. 10 Georgia has not gotten much talk recently about the playoff, but should they win the East and the SEC championship game and only have one loss, they should be in the playoff. The Bulldogs face a test today against the upset-minded Arkansas Razorbacks.
In Tuscaloosa, Texas A&M will not be going to the playoff, but the Crimson Tide still can. The Aggies have given Alabama some issues over the past few years, and if they spring the upset Saturday, Alabama will be going another year without a national title.
In the SEC night cap, No. 3 Ole Miss plays host to Tennessee. For the Rebels, the story is win and move on. If that continues to happen, they will be in the playoff.
The Big 12 has a frontrunner for the conference title in Baylor, and it may be up to the Bears to get the conference into the playoff tournament. They travel to Morgantown to face a West Virginia team that can score points as well. If Baylor loses, four teams also move into position win the conference: Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State. All four of these teams matchup today as Oklahoma squares off with Kansas State, and TCU faces off against Oklahoma State. The losers will see their hopes at a Big 12 title and a spot in the playoff go up in smoke today.