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College Football Playoff Scenarios, Ranked, and Why It Doesn’t Matter if Michigan’s Good Again

Michigan being “good again” is good for the media, not for the sport of college football.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK


Pursuant to some community commentary/hand-wringing over the general favor with which Michigan’s Big Ten Championship was met by the all-important “survey of my Twitter feed,” I would like to remind you of an important OTE maxim:

Fuck Michigan.

Why is this necessary?

That said—Iowa is an inherently fraudulent football team that deserves very little good to happen to it, like, ever, and I think that explains some of the “oh good for Michigan” bit.

The other half is that many Very Important Media Types like to do the whole “Michigan winning is good for college football!” bit.

It is not.

What it is good for is the sports media. Let’s remember the distinction between the media coverage of the game (“Can Brick McRockHard on ESPN2’s People Yelling About Sports scream about it 24/7 until the game happens?”) and the actual quality of the game itself.

Oh, and on top of that, anyone using Michigan’s victory to invoke or rehab Bo Schembechler’s legacy can get an enema of Frank’s Red Hot. He can burn in hell.

Unfortunately, there is a second OTE maxim complicating rooting scenarios: We’re not the SEC, and we always want every team but our own to lose in humiliating fashion. So on one side of the rooting T Chart, we’ve got two strong, valid OTE maxims guiding our decisionmaking, while on the other side we’ve got “JFC enough with the SEC in the Playoff already.” No idea how this shakes out.

College Football Playoff Game Scenarios, Ranked

I feel better now. Let’s rank some games.

4. Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

An all-SEC final is the only thing worse than seeing Michigan in a national championship game. One positive here is that my night would be freed up, because I didn’t watch a second of the SEC Championship Game and I would have no interest in watching a rematch. The other positive, of course, is it means Michigan has already lost. Still, though, an all-SEC rematch as the finale to an event that’s all-SEC bloviating all the time, even when there are non-SEC teams in it? Hard pass.

3. Alabama vs. Michigan Wolverines

Gross, now we have to watch two odious options: Alabama wins again, or Michigan wins. Another lose-lose.

Beez: I think this is the most likely scenario, at which point we get to a real Hobson’s (used incorrectly)/Sophie’s (no idea how it’s used correctly)/Lose-lose choice. Allow Bama to win yet another championship or allow not-my-favorite B1G team to get all the glory, ESPECIALLY when that not-my-favorite B1G team is Michigan (or OSU or Iowa)? Ugh. I’ll come back to this one.

Okay I’m back. If Bama/UM truly is preferable to Bama/Georgia, it’s by the slimmest of margins. On the one hand, there’s no better way to see a not-my-favorite B1G team lose than on the biggest possible stage. On the other hand, the status quo is...fine. It’s fine. I’ve talked myself into this being better than Bama/UGA because it leaves open the possibility of glorious embarrassment in the biggest possible game for UM. Plus, bonus for UM fans, you still get to tell all us looser and haters “better to be in it and lose than to play in the Vegas Garbage Bowl.”

I mean, where Worst Case Scenario is a team—any team, really—taking down Bama in the natty, I guess we can’t complain too much. Solidly the 3rd best title game matchup.

2. Michigan vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

beez: Bad is Michigan is likely favored to win a natty here. It means they had a glorious victory over Georgia and THEN got to do the pre-natty celebration because obviously they aren’t going to lose to Cincinnati. Two plusses for this scenario: No SEC teams, and a decent chance that Michigan loses its only shot at a modern natty by losing to a no name G5 school and becomes “the first school to lose a national title game to a G5 opponent,” alongside “first school to lose to an FCS team while ranked #2.”

And certainly don’t underestimate the lol value of a national title involving an Ohio team that isn’t Ohio State. Maybe if they finish even further ahead in the next 5 years of recruiting rankings, OSU will retake the “best in Ohio” title from Basically Kentucky.

1. Georgia vs. Cincinnati

beez: No Bama, no Michigan. What other pros do we need?

Bonuses for “new national title winner,” “new best team in Ohio,” new best former coach in OSU history” all possible. Con is another “SEC” championship, but do we ACTUALLY think a Georgia natty means the same as a Bama natty for the hangers-on in that trash conference?

But what are your ideal playoff scenarios? Do you agree that no one needs to feel special on behalf of Michigan in the playoffs, or are we off-base? Vote in the poll and tell us we’re terrible excuses for journalists—again, you moron, we’re not journalists—in the comments.

Rank the College Football Playoff Scenarios

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