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Oregon Football

Path to the Playoffs for Oregon Football

November 4, 2019

There's going to be a few of you that have the obvious argument to this article. And yes, of course, none of this matters if Oregon doesn’t win. That is job number one. It begins and ends there.

Ok, well maybe it doesn’t end there. Until tomorrow evening we have no idea where the playoff committee will rank Oregon. All we can guess is that it will likely be somewhere close to where they are ranked now in the USA Today and AP Poll, which is 7 in both. More than likely the best spot Oregon could likely land is at No. 6, which is essentially the first 1-loss spot in the polls.

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Georgia sits at 7-1 while Oregon sits at 8-1. Their only loss is to an unranked South Carolina team at home three weeks ago. They do have wins over two ranked opponents in Notre Dame (15) and Florida. (10)

The Bulldogs will play Oregon’s (current) only loss, Auburn in two weeks on the road. The Tigers remain ranked at No. 12 with 2 losses to No. 1 ranked LSU (3 point loss) last week and No. 10 ranked Florida 3 weeks ago. 

Georgia and Florida are 1-2 in the SEC East currently. The Bulldogs toughest remaining game is Auburn next weekend. They host Missouri this weekend, play at Auburn then finish with Texas A&M and Georgia Tech. Winnable games. Luckily Georgia owns the tie-breaker, beating Florida because the Gators have an easy finish with Vandy, Missouri and FSU. Florida has two losses already, they need Georgia to drop one more. 

If you haven’t caught on by now, that’s just how tight things are and along with winning, which is a must, Oregon might need a bit of help. Here is how they might be able to get it. 

Just win Auburn, LSU, Clemson and Ohio State?

Oregon’s only loss of the season has two key, KEY games on deck. One of which could help Oregon two-fold. Yep, Auburn, also on a bye this week, hosts Georgia next weekend. That is definitely one of the biggest games for Oregon fans to pay attention to moving forward.

Two weeks later (following a Samford bye game) Auburn then hosts Bama for the Iron bowl. This gives Oregon a chance at a triple down. Your only loss of the season has a chance to knock out a pair of teams ranked ahead of you and potentially end up just behind you in the rankings. 

Is Rob Mullins playing chess not checkers here?

Coincidentally, by the time Auburn plays Bama, the Tide will have either won or lost to LSU which plays out this weekend. Using the current AP poll, that’s a 1 vs a 2 and it’s going to be interesting to see how the committee weighs that one out. 

With LSU at No. 1 now, I doubt they drop far with a loss. Furthermore, that would be their first loss of the season. Once LSU clears (or doesn't) Bama (this weekend) they have a fairly clear path. Much like Oregon's it becomes a matter of just winnning. Those games are (in order) Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M.

If you're an Oregon fan, you hope for LSU to win out but it won’t be easy. That would be wins over Bama and the SEC conference championship game, currently Georgia with Florida a close second in the East division.

Alabama meanwhile has LSU this weekend of course, followed by Mississippi State, Western Carolina and then the Iron bowl with Auburn. I guess if you are an Oregon fan you are openly rooting for losses to LSU and Auburn. I guess point being you have better odds at Bama dropping two than LSU. Both are in the SEC West so only one can play in the Conference championship game.

LSU wins out and Georgia wins out but loses to Auburn is your best case scenario. That would put LSU vs Georgia in the SEC conference championship game. Georgia could potentially have two losses by this point, one of which would be to Auburn (hopefully) and a loss to LSU in the conference championship would be No. 3. 

Ohio State might be your next best friend after LSU. The Buckeyes have Maryland and Rutgers then a big showdown with Penn State. That is two teams ahead of Oregon and both from the Big-10 conference. (Ohio State and Penn State) Someone will lose and open the door for Oregon. My money is on Penn State (losing) but Ohio State follows that game up with Michigan. A tough way to finish the season. 

Penn State meanwhile has Minnesota this weekend, ranked No. 13 currently. Then Indiana, the showdown in Columbus ending with Rutgers. Penn State does have a win over Michigan currently, ranked No. 14 at the time. 

The B1G has a conference championship game. Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan are all in the B1G East. Which means only one of them can be conference champion, something the committee claims they view strongly. If Penn State loses to Ohio State they would likely be eliminated from the chance of being conference champion, likely opening the door for Oregon. Potentially.

Clemson is a wild card. Up next is NC State followed by a dangerous Wake Forest, currently ranked No. 22, ending with South Carolina. As you'll recall the Gamecocks played spoiler to Georgia a few weeks ago. I’m more or less expecting Clemson to win out and count them in the final four with 0 losses. 

As for Oregon, you win, just win, hope Utah beats UCLA, Arizona and Colorado to remain a top ten in the rankings, then beat them in the Pac-12 championship game for a quality win. This is a must.

But as for the help, I suppose that means you are openly rooting for LSU to win out, expecting Clemson and Ohio State to get in and cheering your ass off for the Auburn Tigers next weekend and in the Iron bowl. 

There's really a handful of games that will swing this thing for Oregon. Auburn is involved in two of them and Ohio State is your next best friend when they host Penn State, potentially eliminating them from a conference championship. LSU needs to beat Alabama and keep winning, including a win over Georgia (potentially) in the SEC conference championship, likely eliminating them from consideration. 

Looks like it could be a fun ride to the finish. 

Tags: Football, Oregon
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