Oregon suffered a brutal loss in overtime to unranked Stanford, and their playoff chances took a significant hit in the process. Many people in the media want to eliminate Oregon from playoff contention based on this loss to Stanford. Oregon, however, still has a chance to make the College Football Playoff. They’ll need plenty of help from other teams along with helping their cause at the same time. Here’s how they can make the College Football Playoff:
If Oregon has any chance of making the CFP, they’ll need to take business into their own hands by handling the rest of their schedule. They don’t face another ranked opponent on the rest of their schedule, which bodes well for their chances of winning the rest of their games. No team on their remaining schedule will strike fear into their eyes. Oregon just needs to take care of its business and win out. A single loss and their playoff hopes will be non-existent. They’ll need their defense to play stout the rest of the way and for quarterback Anthony Brown to play more efficiently than he ever has to this point in the season. They have a slim margin to make the playoff, and winning out is their best shot at remaining in contention for a playoff spot.
Help From Other Teams
On top of winning their remaining games, they’ll need a good deal of teams ahead of them to suffer at least one loss. Penn State travels to Iowa this weekend. Iowa is ranked 3rd, and Penn State is ranked 4th. Whoever loses this game will end up below them in the rankings. The best-case scenario would be for Penn State to beat Iowa but lose to Ohio State. Ohio State would then need to lose to Michigan, and Michigan would need to lose to any opponent. At this point in time, it seems like Alabama and Georgia are locks to make the College Football Playoff with no tough enough teams remaining on their schedules. Oregon would hope that Oklahoma would lose a surprising game to one of the remaining opponents on their schedule like Texas or Oklahoma State. Cincinnati’s remaining schedule is relatively weak, with only SMU or Navy presenting any sort of challenge the rest of the way for the Bearcats. That should allow them to lock up the third seed and leaves Oregon with claiming the fourth seed. There’s only so much help the high seeds can do to help Oregon’s case at making a playoff push. They need to be better than everyone else outside of the top three seeds.
Let’s be honest. Alabama is most likely going to remain the number one seed in the playoff bracket. Oregon has its best shot at making the College Football Playoff as a four-seed. The Playoff Committee will need to decide who the best four teams are. The committee will need to determine who will be the best competition for Alabama once the playoffs start. For Oregon to be that four seed, they need to start playing dominant football on both ends. Every team they play must be defeated, and they must be victories by wide margins of at least two touchdowns to sway the opinions of the College Football Playoff Committee. This year, the field is stacked, and anyone could be the three or four seed after Alabama and Georgia. Oregon needs to play on a level that forces the committee to want them in the playoffs regardless of what other teams are doing.
If Oregon wants to be one of the remaining four teams at the season’s end, they’ll need some luck along with improved offensive and defensive play. They are more than capable of doing that, and only time will tell if it will be enough to make the College Football Playoff.