What-If Playoff Bracket: 11/25

Another week in the books, and things are getting interesting. Have-nots bowing out, haves filling in, you know the drill. More info on format and background here.

As you're likely aware by now, Baylor and Oregon unceremoniously bowed out of the Top 5 this week, suffering crushing losses to Oklahoma State and Arizona, respectively. Oregon said they didn't want the Rose Bowl and they made that clear on Saturday. Unfortunately they didn't mention my playoff bracket, but for their sake I hope they didn't want in on this either because they've fallen out of the field. Elsewhere, the SEC fills in those Top 5 slots (I know...), and finally some movement on the bottom as NIU jumps Fresno State (the perks of having Toledo on the schedule!).

Here's the field for this week:

#1 Alabama (SEC Champion) [Last week: 1]
#2 Florida State (ACC Champion) [2]
#3 Ohio State (Big Ten Champion) [3]
#4 Auburn (At-large, SEC #2) [6]
#5 Missouri (At-large, SEC #3) [8]
#6 Clemson (At-large, ACC #2) [7]
#7 Oklahoma State (Big 12 Champion) [10]
#8 Stanford (Pac-12 Champion) [9]
#9 Baylor (At-large, Big 12 #2) [4]
#10 Michigan State (At-large, Big Ten #2) [11]
#11 Arizona State* (At-large, Pac-12 #2) [DNQ]
#12 Northern Illinois (MAC Champion) [13]
#13 Fresno State (Mountain West Champion) [12]
#14 Central Florida (AAC Champion) [14]
#15 East Carolina (C-USA Champion) [15]
#16 Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt Champion [16]

Ineligible Qualifiers:
#10 South Carolina (SEC #4; replaced by Arizona State)

Bubble Teams:
Oregon (9-2)
Wisconsin (9-2)
LSU (8-3)
Oklahoma (9-2)


This time around we eliminate the odds of an all-SEC final, with all three SEC teams ended up on the same side of the bracket. I doubt Alabama would be thrilled with Stanford or Baylor waiting for them in the second round, but at least it's a home game. Interestingly, despite moving up 4 spots in the BCS rankings and not getting bumped by anybody, in this format Wisconsin did not make up any ground this week.

As always, share your thoughts and questions and what have you. Also, if you're interested I can do another post on rooting interests for this week, but that didn't generate any discussion last week so if not I'm going to skip it, that thing took up a lot of time. I don't see a point in doing a rankings analysis with UW's Top 14 standing in little doubt, but that could be arranged too if need be.


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