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OU football: What needs to happen for Oklahoma to make the College Football Playoff? The ultimate scenario guide

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College football playoff trophy

The College Football Playoff trophy sits gleaming on the sidelines. The Sooners strive to win it this year.

Hello darkness, my old friend. 

It's that time of year again: When Sooner Nation spends its time rooting against other teams as much as it roots for the Sooners. No. 10 Oklahoma, similar to years past, is going to need some help if it wants to make the College Football Playoff for the third consecutive season. 

Thanks to a shocking loss to Kansas State a week ago, the Sooners are in a familiar spot as they sit with one loss heading into the final stretch of the season. 

So what needs to happen if Oklahoma wants to get back to the semifinals? 

Well, first, the Sooners have to win out and win the Big 12 Championship — that's for sure. So let's just pretend that's exactly what Oklahoma does in the following scenarios. 

Here's the ultimate guide for what needs to happen for OU to reach the College Football Playoff: 

The doomsday scenario

Short of every team in the country winning out, which is not possible, the worst thing that could happen to the Sooners' playoff hopes is for Georgia or Florida to win the SEC Championship. 

Think about it: The winner of Alabama-LSU will likely be in the SEC title game as an undefeated team. The loser will be ranked as one of the best one-loss teams. If a one-loss Georgia or Florida upsets Alabama or LSU in the conference title game, the SEC is going to almost certainly get two teams in. 

The same could happen if an undefeated Minnesota beats an undefeated Ohio State or Penn State in the Big 10 Championship. Then the Big 10 could get two teams in. 

So yeah, cheer for Alabama or LSU to win out, as well as Ohio State or Penn State. 

The most-likely scenario

Let's say Clemson, Ohio State and the winner of Alabama-LSU win out and win their respective conferences. Then let's say Oregon wins the Pac-12 as a one-loss. And finally, let's say the loser of Alabama-LSU finishes with one loss as well as Penn State. 

So three spots are filled with Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama or LSU. That leaves the committee to choose between four one-loss teams for the final spot: Big 12 champ Oklahoma, Pac-12 champ Oregon, one-loss Alabama or one-loss LSU, and one-loss Penn State. 

I like Oklahoma's chances here, but only if the winner of Alabama-LSU won convincingly, if OU wins big in Waco and if Kansas State finishes the season ranked. 

What's likely going to happen is the committee is going to have to choose between a one-loss Big 12 champion in Oklahoma or a one-loss SEC team. Who will they choose? No one knows. 

The dream scenario

Oregon loses a game. Clemson loses a game. Alabama loses to LSU and Auburn. Ohio State loses to Penn State and Michigan. 

It doesn't matter which two, but if two of those things happen, Oklahoma is in. It's that simple. 

Key games

Nov. 2: Oregon vs USC

The first possible upset alert for the Ducks. Fight on. 

Nov. 2: Utah vs Washington

I don't think Utah is getting in over Oklahoma, but it never hurts to cheer for the Washington dogs.

Nov. 2: Florida vs Georgia

It really doesn't matter who wins this game. Just hope the winner loses later.

Nov. 9: Minnesota vs Penn State

I think you want Minnesota to win and then Penn State to beat Ohio State? But I really don't know. This game will prove important at the end of the season. 

Nov. 9: Alabama vs LSU

It doesn't really matter. Just cheer for a blowout, preferably LSU because Alabama could lose to Auburn. Whereas LSU likely isn't going to lose another game with Arkansas and Ole Miss left on the schedule after the Crimson Tide. 

Nov. 16: Oregon vs Arizona

Arizona. Duh. 

Nov. 16: Clemson vs Wake Forest

This is probably the only real threat for Clemson to lose a game. 

Nov. 16: Oklahoma vs Baylor

Biggest game left on the schedule for the Sooners. They need to win and make a statement doing so. 

Nov. 23: Ohio State vs Penn State

Much like Alabama-LSU, cheer for a blowout. If Ohio State loses, it could lose again to Michigan. Penn State only has Rutgers after the Buckeyes. I think the loser of this game is eliminated anyways. 

Nov. 30: Clemson vs South Carolina

South Carolina. Duh. 

Nov. 30: Alabama vs Auburn

If Alabama loses to LSU, the Iron Bowl could serve as the dagger to the Crimson Tide. If Alabama beats LSU and then loses to Auburn... Oh, boy. Now that would be chaos. 

Nov. 30: Ohio State vs Michigan 

Cheer for the Michigan fighting khakis. 

George's biggest piece of advice

Isn't this what makes college football great?

There's a lot of football left to be played. Oklahoma has just as good of a chance to make it as any other team. So just breathe and enjoy the games, because there's nothing worse than when the college football season comes to a close. 

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George Stoia joined The Daily in the fall of 2016 as a sophomore and has covered the soccer team, both men's and women's basketball, as well as the football team for the past three years. He graduates in May 2020.

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