TCU Hopes to Cash in This Weekend

TCU Hopes to Cash in This Weekend

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At least eight teams are vying for four playoff spots.

It would be premature to assume that TCU has a leg up in the hunt for one of four college playoff spots. After all, the Horned Frogs are sitting in the No. 4 spot, with several other teams breathing down its neck. But TCU’s schedule is the most favorable one of the top teams with games against three beatable opponents left.

This weekend, the Horned Frogs travel to Kansas and then catch a break before playing at Texas on Thanksgiving Day. They’ll close out their season at home on Dec. 6 against Iowa State, setting up a potential 11-1 finish. Notably, TCU may finish ahead of Baylor who handed the Horned Frogs their only loss of the season on Oct. 11. Baylor, however, immediately followed that 61 to 58 triumph by losing 41 to 27 to West Virginia the following weekend. It certainly pays to lose earlier in the season than later.

No. 1 Mississippi State

The road to the playoff may be the toughest for No. 1 Mississippi State as the Bulldogs play at No. 5 Alabama this Sat. then host Vanderbilt next week. The Bulldogs close out their regular season on Nov. 29 when they take on No. 10 Ole Miss. There is a good chance the SEC will do such a nice job with its parity that no representative from the country’s premier college football conference will be make it to the first-ever playoff. There is still a lot of football left in the season, so anything can happen.

Oregon is off this weekend and should have no problem next Sat. when 2-8 Colorado comes to town. The Ducks will then conclude their regular season on Nov. 29 at Oregon State, a team that has lost four consecutive games and plays No. 6 Arizona State this Sat. To qualify for the playoffs the Ducks will have to keep winning and then take home the Pac 12 championship in Dec.

Florida State now finds itself ranked No. 3 in the nation and should continue its winning ways with games against Miami, Boston College and Florida remaining. At this point they should play Duke for the ACC championship, a team they smothered last year 45 to 7. Duke seems better this year, but the same Jameis Winston is leading the Seminoles who are not about to let a championship opportunity escape them.

Getting Help to Get There

There are several teams on the cusp of the playoffs that will need some help getting in. Some can help themselves over the coming weeks by knocking off top-tier teams, but it could take two losses by Mississippi State to end the season to help some teams move up.

Alabama can certainly make a name for itself by beating Mississippi State and finishing the season with a win against Auburn. Two wins here plus the SEC championship should have the Tide rolling into the playoffs. That’s easier said than done, but you got to think ‘Bama likes where it finds itself. Better to finish the season strong than to rely on others to make a way for you.

At No. 6, Arizona State has to like their own chances too. The Sun Devils must beat Oregon State and Washington State before their season ending showdown with No. 16 Arizona. Win out and the Sun Devils will likely play Oregon for the Pac 12 championship. If both teams make it to the championship with just one loss, the winner most likely will be playoff bound.

Baylor, ranked No. 7 will need some help to get to the playoffs. That help must come in the form of a few upsets by teams ranked just ahead of them as well as a victory against No. 13 Kansas State to close out the season. Without benefit of a conference championship the Bears must control their own destiny and hope that things shake out in their favor in the remaining weeks. Notably, the Big 12 may land two playoff bound teams if TCU and Baylor finish strong and some of the other top teams fall.

At 8-1, Ohio State has the No. 8 spot and will certainly need help over the coming weeks. They take on No. 25 Minnesota on Sat. and should beat Indiana and Michigan to finish the season. That sets up a likely battle with Nebraska for the Big Ten championship. However, an early season loss to a so-so Virginia Tech team at home may keep the Buckeyes on the outside looking in. Multiple upsets by teams ahead of them may be needed to make room for Ohio State in this year’s playoffs.

Playoff Chatter

For some fans, a four-team playoff is wholly unsatisfactory. You can bet come the second week in Dec. when the playoff teams are announced, that there will be a lot of angry people out there. They’ll call for an eight-team playoff, with some insisting that no less than 16 teams is the only fair way to settle these matters.

See Also5 Surprise Teams This 2014 Season

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