Saturday, October 7, 2017

Iowa State defeats Oklahoma. The winner: Big Ten and Pac-12's Rose Bowl hopes.

The Rose Bowl is traditionally a matchup between representative teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12. With the Rose Bowl being a College Football Playoff semifinal this season, there has been a chance that neither team made it to the game this season. At east until Iowa State beat Oklahoma.

What does Iowa's win over the Sooners do for the CFP semifinal picture? If the CFP semis were played today (well, maybe yesterday), Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, and Penn State (in order) would have been the four teams with a chance to win the CFP title.

Before Oklahoma's loss, the 2018 Sugar Bowl would have pitted Alabama against B1G member Penn State This would mean that the 2018 Rose Bowl would not have an Big Ten representative in the game for the first time since 2015, when Oregon beat ACC representative Florida State.  . The 2018 Rose Bowl Game hosts the CFP  no. 2 vs. no. 3, which would have seen ACC Clemson face against Oklahoma. The latter happening if the Sooners had beaten the Cyclones in Week 6.

Oklahoma's loss means that current no. 4 Penn State could rise up a notch and gain a place  in the CFP playoffs. That would make it no. 3 in the country, and thus would face Clemson in the Rose Bowl.

The Sooners' loss also gives 5-0 Washington a chance to enter the current top four. If either Penn State or Washington winds up in the third position, it would earn that team a Rose Bowl berth, ensuring at least it will feature one of the Bowl's traditional conference tie-ins.

Those who root for the CFP chaos engine to reign may be celebrating Oklahoma's loss, but it ironically allows for a somewhat traditional Rose Bowl.

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