I’ll start this post just saying that I think there is very little actual chance that Florida State makes one of the “New Year’s Six Bowls.” But, a little chance is still a chance. If things were to happen perfectly, and FSU could get a little lucky, we could see the Noles in one of these 3 bowls, which seem to be what teams who don’t make the playoff want so dearly.
Now, obviously major chaos and upsets would help the Noles get into one of these bowl games. But, aside from just cheering for the craziest of crazy to happen, I’ve put together a realistic (although unlikely) situation in which the Noles could potentially get into one of these bowls. I’ll try and give a general guideline for the last 4 weeks in this post, along with the teams that you should probably root for this weekend. I’ll do an update each week with who to root for until we reach a point where I believe there is no chance for FSU to make a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.
So, here’s the general idea:
- FSU needs to win out. Losing to NCST, Chattanooga, or UF will eliminate FSU from contention.
- Clemson needs to win out. Clemson winning out is good for FSU because FSU currently has one of the best losses in College Football; evidenced by the fact that the CFB Playoff Committee did not drop FSU in the rankings after their loss to Clemson. Also, Clemson winning out eliminates UNC from discussion, in my opinion.
- Alabama needs to win out. There needs to be a clear cut SEC champion. Alabama has the best chance (of any SEC West team) to beat UF. UF losing to FSU in the last week of the season and Bama in the SEC Championship will eliminate UF (or at least move their priority behind FSU’s) for a New Year’s Six Bowl.
- Notre Dame needs to win out. Notre Dame finishing with just their one loss does two things. It keeps them in the playoff and out of a New Year’s Six Bowl, and it solidifies Clemson as a true #1 (assuming the Tigers win out.) Also, Notre Dame plays Stanford in the last game of the year. Notre Dame beating Stanford would eliminate Stanford from the New Year’s Six. However, I think that if Stanford wins, Notre Dame could still sneak in to one of these 3 Bowl Games over FSU, because their 2 losses are better than FSU’s.
- Ohio State needs to win out. Cheering for Urban Meyer won’t be the most fun thing, but he can really help the Noles’ chances at a New Year’s Six Bowl. Ohio State winning out would mean a 2nd loss for Michigan State and a 3rd loss for Michigan. That, coupled with FSU’s win over (what will be) a Top 10 UF team, should move FSU ahead of those two teams. Ohio State also needs to beat Iowa. This would be (assuming Iowa wins the rest of their regular season games; which we’ll get to in a minute) Iowa’s first loss of the year. FSU, having two losses, may not be able to jump them. But, I think they’d have a chance because FSU is a much more attractive pick for a bowl, than Iowa. I also, don’t think Iowa’s resume is any better, but that’s just me. If Ohio State and Iowa met in the Big 10 Championship and Iowa won, I think that Iowa would go to the playoff and Ohio State would go to a New Year’s Six Bowl, for sure. Iowa going to a New Year’s Six Bowl with one loss might be a sure thing, but not as sure as the Buckeye’s going with one loss.
- An upset or two along the way would not hurt. Aside from the teams mentioned above, an upset or two needs to happen. Games that are potential upsets that wouldn’t hurt FSU’s chances are UCLA over Utah in week 12, Iowa losing any of their upcoming games, and/or LSU losing any of their remaining games. Utah, LSU, and Iowa might be locks for the New Year’s Six Bowl, if they win the rest of their regular season games. Those teams losing a game to an inferior opponent would certainly help FSU’s chances.
- The Big 12 needs one true champion. Outside of complete and utter chaos where all of the Big 12 teams just beat up on each other and everyone finishes with two losses, this is the most realistic scenario that will benefit FSU. There are 4 Big 12 teams ahead of FSU right now. The only two who are undefeated are Baylor and Oklahoma State. The best thing that could happen for FSU would be for Baylor to win out. They would hand a second loss to TCU and Oklahoma. This would help FSU potentially move ahead of them. It would also give Oklahoma State their first loss of the year, with a rivalry game against Oklahoma upcoming. If Baylor could finish with no losses, and Oklahoma State could also lose to Oklahoma, FSU may jump all of these teams, because they’ll have an impressive road win against UF in week 13. Now, if Oklahoma State wins out, that’s not the worst thing for FSU. It would give Baylor their one loss, but they’d (Baylor) probably still make a New Year’s Six Bowl. Based on how the schedules lay themselves out, I think 2 Big 12 teams make a New Year’s Six Bowl. (Or one makes the playoff and one makes one of these three bowls.) Either way, this isn’t the best for FSU. 2 Big 12 teams there, means only 4 spots left. The most perfect scenario would be for Baylor to win out and Oklahoma State to lose to Oklahoma. (Since Baylor is ranked farther ahead of OKST, it’s less of a jump for FSU, so it’s better if they stay there.) However, I doubt this perfect Big 12 scenario happens. So, expect two Big 12 teams in the top 10 at the end of the year.
- FSU needs some luck. Let’s face it. Until this week, the CFB Playoff committee hasn’t really done us any favor or shown us too much love. We’ll need to get some more love from them during the last rankings of the year. We’re going to have to bank on the fact that the “FSU” name is sexier and more appealing in some of these bowl games. The idea of FSU vs LSU in the Peach Bowl has been tossed around. I think this is such an attractive matchup. Dalvin Cook vs Leonard Fournette. ACC vs SEC. Jimbo Fisher against his old team. I’d imagine if it were FSU and Iowa (or Utah) on the edge, the Committee might go with us because we’re the more attractive matchup, by far. College Football is about money. There are some games that would make more money with FSU in them. That’s a fact. However, we’ll need some luck to fall into one of these bowls.
In conclusion, there are 15 teams ahead of FSU. The Noles need to jump 6 of them to get into the top 10. If FSU finishes in the top 10, I think they’re in a New Year’s Six Bowl. I think these 8 things, listed above, could provide what FSU needs to finish in the Top 10. At least two Big 10 teams would be eliminated. FSU would jump UF. 2 Big 12 teams would be eliminated. A two loss PAC 12 team will be eliminated (due to the PAC 12 Championship game.) That puts FSU at #10. Also, upsets and luck could certainly play into FSU’s favor. It’s a long shot. But, it’s doable. FSU just needs to win out, and see what happens. But, for you fans, here’s something we can use to help us root for the possibility of a New Year’s Six Bowl.
Week 11 Rooting Guide:
(Based on the scenario above, here’s a rooting guide for you to follow this weekend.)
|#1 Clemson||at||Syracuse||3:30 PM||ABC|
|#2 Alabama||at||#17 Miss St.||3:30 PM||CBS|
|#3 Ohio St.||at||Illinois||12:00 PM||ABC|
|Wake Forest||at||#4 Notre Dame||3:30 PM||ABC|
|Minnesota||at||#5 Iowa||8:00 PM||BTN|
|#12 Oklahoma||at||#6 Baylor||8:00 PM||ABC|
|Oregon||at||#7 Stanford||7:30 PM||FOX|
|#8 Oklahoma St.||at||Iowa St.||3:30 PM||ESPN|
|Arkansas||at||#9 LSU||7:15 PM||ESPN|
|#10 Utah||at||Arizona||10:00 PM||FSI|
|#11 Florida||at||South Carolina||12:00 PM||ESPN|
|Maryland||at||#13 Michigan St.||12:00 PM||ESPN 2|
|#14 Michigan||at||Indiana||3:30 PM||ABC/ESPN 2|
|Kansas||at||#15 TCU||12:00 PM||FS1|
|NCST||at||#16 FSU||12:30 PM||ESPN3|
|Purdue||at||#18 Northwestern||12:00 PM||BTN|
|Washington St.||at||#19 UCLA||10:45 PM||ESPN|
|SMU||at||#20 Navy||3:30 PM||CBSSN|
|#21 Memphis||at||#24 Houston||7:00 PM||ESPN 2|
|#22 Temple||at||USF||7:00 PM||CBSSN|
|Miami (of FL)||at||#23 UNC||3:30 PM||ESPNU|
You should root for the teams that are in bold. Sorry, I know I have Miami and UF highlighted. But, I think this ultimately helps FSU get to a New Year’s Six Bowl. I also know it’s hard to cheer for Bama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. But, do with this what you will. I’ll try and keep you updated.
As always, Go Noles.