This would be a first.
We are less than a week away from the first official College Football Playoff rankings of the 2017 season, and of course fans and media alike are already speculating about which four teams will make this year’s final four. The predictions provided by Jerry Palm of CBS Sports calls for a rematch of one game this season: Palm has Ohio State and Penn State rematching in the first round of the Playoff in the Rose Bowl.
The two teams are set to play this upcoming weekend in their schedule regular season contest, and a variety of things would have to happen to make this possible. Ohio State, who already has one loss on the season, would have to win this game, and then both teams would have to win out their remaining schedule. Ohio State, who would win the Big Ten East in this case, would also have to beat (likely) Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Several things outside of the Big Ten would have to happen to allow two teams to get in, too. Georgia would likely have to lose twice, Notre Dame would have to lose again, a Pac-12 winner would probably need to have two losses, and TCU and Oklahoma would both need to lose at some point. As we have seen in the chaos of the past few years, that all could happen, but it’s a large order.
The final thing that would have to happen here: the first game between Ohio State and Penn State needs to be close. If Ohio State wins by three touchdowns, that’s not going to do Penn State a lot of favors in the “quality loss” department, especially if Oklahoma only has one loss with a victory over Ohio State already on their schedule.
Be prepared folks, it’s going to be a fun finish to the season.