Before the season started I wrote a series of articles predicting who would be a breakout team in each conference and which games would help decide the playoff. Starting with games that would help decide the playoff.
Florida State vs. Alabama: The preseason hype surrounding this game was unreal. #1 vs. #2, Nick Saban vs Jimbo Fisher, SEC vs. ACC. The game itself was outstanding until Deandre François got hurt then the Crimson Tide ran away with it. After the game Alabama continued to be ranked #1 or #2 until the Iron Bowl. The Seminoles season on the other hand finished 6-6 with Jimbo Fisher resigning to take the Texas A&M Head Coaching position. Overall effect on the playoffs: Somewhat
Florida vs. Michigan: This game foreshadowed the struggles of both offenses during the season. Jim McElwain was fired before the season started due to the failure to develop a respectable offense in the SEC. Jim Harbaugh broke in ten new starters on defense, had a revolving door of quarterbacks and finished 8-4. Overall effect on the playoffs: None.
Georgia vs. Notre Dame: At the time Georgia was ranked 15th in the country and after winning in South Bend the Bulldogs shot up the polls to #1. After winning the SEC Georgia sits as the #2 seed in the playoffs. Notre Dame was able to reach to #3 in the country after the game then lost two out of three to Miami and Stanford derailing their playoff hopes. Overall effect on playoffs: High
Florida and Georgia: Georgia rolled to a 42-7 victory and Jim McElwain was fired after the game: Overall effect on playoffs: None.
USC vs. UCLA: USC was eliminated from the playoff following a loss to Notre Dame, but rebounded to beat UCLA and win the Pac-12. UCLA fired Coach Jim Mora following the loss. Overall effect on playoffs: None
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: In the most entertaining game of the year in terms of offensive output the Sooners beat the Cowboys 62-52 using the game as a spring board into the top five. The Cowboys on the other hand were eliminated from the playoff field following the loss. Overall effect on playoffs: Somewhat
The preseason hype surrounding these games did not live up to expectations. Two coaches were fired after losing to their rival (McElwain, Mora) and another left the school (Fisher). Only the Notre Dame/ Georgia game had any real effect on the playoffs.
Prediction results: 1/5…..ouch