What teams could steal the 4th seed in the College Football Playoffs?

Riley Payne, Reporter

On Dec. 20, the college football playoff committee will announce which four teams will be competing on New Year’s Day to decide the national championship. I have written about several teams who are currently on the outside but still have a shot at success if things go their way.

The Florida Gators won the SEC west, so they are now moving on to playing the top-ranked and undefeated Crimson Tide in the SEC championship game.

The Gators are currently ranked sixth, so a win would guarantee them a spot in the playoffs. Florida has the clearest path of teams who are currently on the outside looking in.

The Gators have also passed the “eye test,” for they have continued to improve over the course of the year. Heisman candidate Kyle Trask gives the Gators a shot at victory every week.

In the latest college football playoff rankings, the Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked just behind the Gators at number eight. They have looked dominant all year on all sides of the ball. When playing against weaker opponents, they have not let up or shown any weakness, which will look good in the committee’s eyes.

The Bearcats will be facing a ranked Tulsa team in their conference championship game. However, a win would not guarantee much. They would have to count on a series of events falling in their favor. The Bearcats need Notre Dame to beat Clemson again in the ACC championship game, Florida to lose to Alabama, and an Aggie upset to secure their spot as the fourth seed in the College Football Playoffs.

Last but not least, Texas A&M is ranked above both teams, but they don’t have any control over their placement even if they finish the season strong. The Aggies lost to top-ranked Alabama by double digits earlier in the season. Alabama being their only loss and their upset win against Florida has kept them ranked high.

The Aggies have played stellar defense, but their offense has struggled under the lead of quarterback Kella Mond. Their offense may prevent them from passing the “eye test” if they are being compared to the Cincinnati Bearcats. Also, the Aggies can not look too far ahead yet because they still have to play a good Ole Miss squad with one of the most talented young quarterbacks this year, Matt Corral.

If the Clemson Tigers fall to the Notre Dame Irish or Ohio State has another game canceled due to COVID-19 cases, the Aggies are in a great spot to steal the fourth seed.