A JERSEY GUY: A Chalk City CFB Final Four?

Mark Blaudschun

Are you ready for a CFB Final Four with three unbeaten teams and a one-loss conference champion?

Are you ready for a CFB Final Four with four different conference champions?

Are you ready for a possible CFB national championship game matching the Heisman Trophy and runner up in a battle of QBs?

Well, you might get it.

Here's what we know right now.

There are only 3 unbeaten teams remaining in the FBS.

That would be No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson.

All three teams will be favored in their remaining regular season and conference championship games.

If form all holds up, No. 1 LSU will play in a semifinal game in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 28th against the No. 4 seed, which would most likely be either the Big 12 champion (once beaten Oklahoma or a once-beaten Baylor) or the Pac-12 champion (once beaten Utah or a once beaten Oregon).

The other semifinal game will also be played on Dec. 28 in the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona between No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson.

If form again holds up, a dream (for television, the fans, the entire world of college football) would be created between LSU, with the Heisman front runner in QB Joe Burrow) against Ohio State, a probable Heisman No. 2 finisher in QB Justin Fields.

Adding to the drama would be Burrow (a graduate transfer from Ohio State) facing his old team, which would be playing a game in New Orleans, 90 miles from the LSU campus.

And just for added flavor, the four teams would come from the South, West and Midwest, which would be far more enticing for the rest of the country, which has been force fed a regional Southern dish of Alabama-Clemson the past few years.

It would arguably, college football's finest hour in in the CFB playoff era.

Having said all of that, this probably WON'T happen because there is almost an upset somewhere when conference championships and New Year's Six bowl bids are being decided.

So here at TMG, we feel it is our obligation to point out the things that could happen to create some sort of chaos.

Let's go conference by conference.

Atlantic Coast Conference

This looks like the closest thing to a lock. Clemson is 11-0 with only South Carolina remaining in the regular season. The Tigers won't lose that and should beat anyone--Virginia, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech are the contenders--from the ACC Coastal Division.

Upset possibility: If Virginia Tech is the team, that could be a Major Watch Out game for Clemson. After a slow start---the Hokies lost their opener to Boston College, Coach Justin Fuentes' has won 7 of its last 9 games. Tech controls its fate, closing the regular season with games against Pitt and Virginia. If they win those two, they will face Clemson in the ACC title game.

Chaos Factor: If Clemson, loses, the ACC is out of the Final Four.

Southeastern Conference Champion.

The SEC is again a lock for one bid, which will go to the winner of the SEC title game--LSU vs. Georgia most likely. If Georgia wins and the game is not a rout, the SEC will get two spots since no other one loss team can match LSU's resume.

Chaos factor: Georgia and LSU both qualify, combined with a Clemson loss or Texas A&M, which closes its regular season against Georgia and LSU upsets either team.

Big Ten

Ohio State is the clear front runner. But the Buckeyes still have some heavy lifting remaining, starting with Saturday's game against Penn State, which is followed by a trip to the Big House to face a surging Michigan team. Get by that and the winner of the Wisconsin-Minnesota game should be waiting, which doesn't look as challenging.

Chaos factor: Ohio State loses to either Michigan or Penn State and a 2-loss Wisconsin emerges as Big Ten champion.

Big 12

Oklahoma saved its season with its remarkable second half comeback at Baylor. Now the Sooners have to close out the season with wins, including a possible rematch with Baylor in the Big 12 title game. That will at least keep them in the conversation for a Final Four slot.

Chaos factor: Oklahoma loses a game and any other one loss or even two loss team emerges as Big 12 conference champion.

Pac 12

An Oregon-Utah conference championship game, with both teams having only one loss is essential. The winner would have a legitimate chance of getting a Final Four bid.

Chaos factor: Either team loses a regular season game and emerges as

conference champion.

The ultimate chaos factor would be if Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Utah and Oregon all lost a game, which create an opportunity for a one-loss Alabama making it, or even the first ever two loss team reaching the Final Four.

So there you have it. Still time for chaos as much as there is the possibility of a chalk board of favorites, which wouldn't be the worst thing.


Mark Blaudschun