If only there were playoffs in college football. Without the BCS the following is a look at what an eight team playoff format would look like for the 2010-2011 NCAAF season after week 11 using the AP Top 25 poll. Here is both what the match-ups would look like and predictions as to who would win it all.
#1. Oregon Ducks vs. #8 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Oregon Ducks are the top team in the nation for a reason. This would be an awfully tough match-up for the Ducks in the first round of a playoff format, but that is the beauty of an eight team playoff format, great match-ups would be common. The Ducks have the firepower on offense to offset the tough Buckeye defense. Pryor would have a solid game as he did in 2010 against the Ducks, but Oregon overpowers Ohio State to move on to the second round.
Prediction: Oregon 38-27
#2. Auburn Tigers vs. #7. Stanford Cardinal
Cam Newton vs. Andrew Luck would be an amazing quarterback match-up in the first round of the playoffs. Potential first round picks would create a game better than bowl committees could ever dream of. At this point in time the Tigers have looked better over the course of the season and would hold the upper hand in this match-up. Cam Newton leads the Tigers to a close victory.
Prediction: Auburn 24-21
#3. TCU Horned Frogs vs. #6. Wisconsin Badgers
Horned Frogs have arguably the best defense and one of the best offenses in the nation. The Badges have huge wins over Ohio State and Iowa while the Horned Frogs crushed #5 Utah last week by 40 points. The non “BCS” school takes it to the Big Ten power Wisconsin with their overall talent and speed.
Prediction: TCU 35-20
#4. Boise State Broncos vs. #5. LSU Tigers
Could you think of a better match-up for an exciting playoff game? The amount of gambles taken in this game by each team would be enough for a season worth of trick plays and excitement. Both teams have unbelievable talent and great head coaches. I take the Tigers because they have been tested more with their SEC schedule and the level of opponent they have been able to defeat (Alabama). LSU moves on.
Prediction: LSU 27-24
Second Round Match-ups:
#1 Oregon vs. #5 LSU
LSU behind Les Miles would be sure to slip up against a more dependable Oregon squad. LSU would give them a run for their money, but I see Oregon coming out on top.
Prediction: Oregon 31-21
#2. Auburn vs. #3. TCU
Although Auburn is tough and battle tested, I still like the Horned Frogs overall attack to win this one.
Prediction: TCU 24-21
National Championship Game:
#1. Oregon vs. #3. TCU
Two teams that have not gained respect by the media although they have won the games they should have up to this point and for the most part have won them impressively. I think we will be able to tell which of these teams is for real by the end of the season, but based on the information we have now, I don’t see ever the TCU defense stopping Oregon and running back LaMichael James. Oregon wins a thriller (28-27)
NATIONAL CHAMPION: OREGON