Clemson Football: CFB Playoff scenarios heading into Week 15

Lyn-J Dixon, Clemson football
Lyn-J Dixon, Clemson football /

The Clemson football team is one win away from getting back to the CFB Playoff. Here’s a look at the picture heading into Week 15.

The Clemson football team has one obstacle remaining in its way of getting back to the CFB Playoff for a fifth-straight season.

The Tigers will take on the No. 23-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC Championship game Saturday evening in Bank of America Stadium.

As we head into conference championship week, it’s pretty clear about the path to the playoff for Clemson football: If the Tigers beat Virginia, they’ll be in the CFB Playoff. If they lose, they’ll be out. There’s really no in between.

Despite the path being pretty clear, there’s still plenty for Clemson football fans to keep their eyes on in terms of the playoff picture and scenarios heading down the stretch.

CFB Playoff picture, scenarios heading into Week 15: (A *star* indicates team has one loss)

ACC: Clemson

Big Ten: Ohio State, Wisconsin*

Big 12: Oklahoma*, Baylor*

Pac-12: Utah*

SEC: LSU, Georgia*

In my opinion, two spots are already locked up in the playoff. Even if LSU (vs. Georgia) and Ohio State (vs. Wisconsin) lose, there’s still a great chance that both end up in the top-four.

This is not what I think should happen, but what will happen: If LSU loses to Georgia, the top-four will consist of the two SEC teams, along with Clemson and Ohio State, assuming the Tigers win out.

If LSU, Ohio State and Clemson win-out, then the final spot will be between a one-loss Big 12 champion (the winner of Oklahoma-Baylor) and a one-loss Pac-12 champion, assuming Utah beats Oregon. If that’s the case, you’d have two strong arguments for both sides, but ultimately I’m beginning to believe you’d actually see the Big 12 champion (especially if it’s Oklahoma) jump over Utah because of the fact that they’d have a top-10 win on their schedule (Baylor is currently ranked No. 7, Oklahoma is No. 6), compared to Utah’s less impressive win over Oregon, who is No. 13.

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Even though we included Wisconsin in our CFB Playoff picture, there’s not really a clear picture for the Badgers to get into the top-four. Perhaps if they won, LSU won and both Clemson and Utah lost, they may would have a chance to squeeze in over a one-loss Baylor or Oklahoma. That’s likely the only scenario for the Badgers to get in, though.