Narrow path to playoff

SwirlinLingerie

Well-Known Member
A friend pointed out to me that Iowa is one of nine teams listed still with odds to win the national title. So I assume there is some kind of path to the playoffs not involving natural disasters, plane crashes or pandemics.

It's November 29th and we're still talking about a path to the playoffs. Have some fun with that, no matter how narrow the odds.

So what is that path?

Iowa beats Michigan
Washington beats Oregon
Georgia beats Alabama
Texas loses to OK State
Florida State loses to Louisville

In that scenario, is it Iowa, WA, GA....and who? Still a one loss Michigan? You can't take a one loss OSU over a one loss Michigan, can you? Could a two loss Iowa really jump a one loss Ohio State?

Is Florida State in regardless of a win or loss in that scenario? What if they look horrible in a loss? Would they dip below a two loss Iowa?

What would the path be?
 
This seems way beyond the realm of possibility. How could you put the statistically worst team in Division 1 in the playoffs? I would love it but just cannot see it.
 
Yeah I'm surprised to hear that there's even a possibility frankly... For Iowa to sneak in final 4 would take chaos and a head scratching decision to be made of some sort. And that's not even factoring in that the college football world wouldn't want that at all. They'd be more apt to leave a deserving Iowa team out then put them in this yr.
 
There is no path. How can there be a path for a team just outside the top 15 and has two losses to get one of the four spots.
 
Last edited:
There is no path. How can there be a path for a team just outside the top 15 and has two losses to get one of four spots.
Fan Duel has odds for 9 teams. Iowa is one of them.

If you look at the rankings based on the scenario I outlined and the fact Iowa would have the best win of the group, Iowa would theoretically move past these two loss teams - Oregon, Texas, Alabama, Ole Miss, Penn State, Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisville, and three loss LSU and Arizona.

So that's 10 spots right there. Then it gets weird - which two make it out of Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State. I guess maybe that's the path oddsmakers see...Iowa making it in a judgement call with that group.
 
Last edited:
Yeah I'm surprised to hear that there's even a possibility frankly... For Iowa to sneak in final 4 would take chaos and a head scratching decision to be made of some sort. And that's not even factoring in that the college football world wouldn't want that at all. They'd be more apt to leave a deserving Iowa team out then put them in this yr.
For sure. In this scenario, though, who are the other two to go with Georgia and Washington?

Iowa beats Michigan
Washington beats Oregon
Georgia beats Alabama
Texas loses to OK State
Florida State loses to Louisville
 
Fan Duel does not decide reality. I can stop the madness from the get go. Even if Iowa beats Michigan, a 1-loss Michigan team would get in before a 2-loss Iowa team that was waxed by Penn State and beat by Minnesota at Iowa. Michigan has wins over PSU and Ohio State. The head to head does not even come close to making up for the overall resume difference. OSU is also more deserving. Wins over ND and PSU and the only loss is a close one on the road at Michigan. So, there are two Big 10 teams who get in before Iowa.
 
Fan Duel has odds for 9 teams. Iowa is one of them.
..and that means what? Where is their explanation or do they just want a chance to get your $$$. Did they give odds plus the route how it can happen or they just using vagueness and lack of clarity to their advantage to cash in and take peoples $$$?
 
Fan Duel does not decide reality. I can stop the madness from the get go. Even if Iowa beats Michigan, a 1-loss Michigan team would get in before a 2-loss Iowa team that was waxed by Penn State and beat by Minnesota at Iowa. Michigan has wins over PSU and Ohio State. The head to head does not even come close to making up for the overall resume difference. OSU is also more deserving. Wins over ND and PSU and the only loss is a close one on the road at Michigan. So, there are two Big 10 teams who get in before Iowa.

Concur. I would mortgage my house and put every single dollar of net worth I have taking the inverse of anyone betting Iowa could make the playoff. TCU lost their title game last year and still got the invite. Even assuming a Michigan loss, based on past precedent the order of Big Ten teams likely to make the playoff would be: 1) Ohio, 2) Michigan, 3) Penn, and then in a distant fourth would be Iowa. Fan Duel posting odds for Iowa is just them looking to steal money from marks because the percentage of likelihood of Iowa paying out on that bet is 0. Even with a plane crash.
 
Concur. I would mortgage my house and put every single dollar of net worth I have taking the inverse of anyone betting Iowa could make the playoff. TCU lost their title game last year and still got the invite. Even assuming a Michigan loss, based on past precedent the order of Big Ten teams likely to make the playoff would be: 1) Ohio, 2) Michigan, 3) Penn, and then in a distant fourth would be Iowa. Fan Duel posting odds for Iowa is just them looking to steal money from marks because the percentage of likelihood of Iowa paying out on that bet is 0. Even with a plane crash.
So why don't they give odds for Penn State?
 
Concur. I would mortgage my house and put every single dollar of net worth I have taking the inverse of anyone betting Iowa could make the playoff. TCU lost their title game last year and still got the invite. Even assuming a Michigan loss, based on past precedent the order of Big Ten teams likely to make the playoff would be: 1) Ohio, 2) Michigan, 3) Penn, and then in a distant fourth would be Iowa. Fan Duel posting odds for Iowa is just them looking to steal money from marks because the percentage of likelihood of Iowa paying out on that bet is 0. Even with a plane crash.
I'm not gonna die on this hill, but it's fun to play out scenarios.

O'Keefe, in this scenario, which two teams besides GA and WA are in?

You say Michigan and Ohio State? I'd probably agree.

Iowa beats Michigan
Washington beats Oregon
Georgia beats Alabama
Texas loses to OK State
Florida State loses to Louisville
 
I'm not gonna die on this hill, but it's fun to play out scenarios.

O'Keefe, in this scenario, which two teams besides GA and WA are in?

You say Michigan and Ohio State? I'd probably agree.

Iowa beats Michigan
Washington beats Oregon
Georgia beats Alabama
Texas loses to OK State
Florida State loses to Louisville

One of GA and Bama are in. Both could get in if Bama wins by a point on a last second field goal or fluke. One Pac 10 team is in. Maybe both could get in under a fluke outcome that involves Oregon winning. I doubt it, but that would happen long before they got to Iowa. There could theoretically be two Big Ten reps as well, just like last year, but those would be Ohio and Michigan. FSU and Tejas are wildcards, but assuming both crash and burn it would open the door to multiple berths from one of the SEC, Big Ten or Pac 10 long before Iowa's name would be mentioned.
 
So why don't they give odds for Penn State?

Because Penn State is not a feel good story with a trainwreck element mixed in. PSU has a better chance than Iowa at getting in because they destroyed Iowa head to head, but the Iowa bet will get degenerate gamblers and idiots in our fan base literally handing over wads of cash to the bookmaker. No one would bet a huge amount, but if you can coax several thousand people into placing YOLO bets of $20 or $50 or $100 on Iowa it will add up to an amount that makes it worth their time to advertise odds. I mean, the first condition precedent to the bet even paying is Iowa beating Michigan, which in and of itself is far less than a 1% probability occurrence.
 
Because Penn State is not a feel good story with a trainwreck element mixed in. PSU has a better chance than Iowa at getting in because they destroyed Iowa head to head, but the Iowa bet will get degenerate gamblers and idiots in our fan base literally handing over wads of cash to the bookmaker. No one would bet a huge amount, but if you can coax several thousand people into placing YOLO bets of $20 or $50 or $100 on Iowa it will add up to an amount that makes it worth their time to advertise odds. I mean, the first condition precedent to the bet even paying is Iowa beating Michigan, which in and of itself is far less than a 1% probability occurrence.
This goes on a lot in horse betting and other sports all over.. People aren't afraid to put something like that down on longshots just because of the 'what if' I'm not a gambler at all because I'd go broke. I'm not lucky at all and just as soon as I think I have something figured out you get humbled. I'd rather it just be my ego then my wallet when it does. I just don't have the stomach for it
 
A friend pointed out to me that Iowa is one of nine teams listed still with odds to win the national title. So I assume there is some kind of path to the playoffs not involving natural disasters, plane crashes or pandemics.

It's November 29th and we're still talking about a path to the playoffs. Have some fun with that, no matter how narrow the odds.

So what is that path?

Iowa beats Michigan
Washington beats Oregon
Georgia beats Alabama
Texas loses to OK State
Florida State loses to Louisville

In that scenario, is it Iowa, WA, GA....and who? Still a one loss Michigan? You can't take a one loss OSU over a one loss Michigan, can you? Could a two loss Iowa really jump a one loss Ohio State?

Is Florida State in regardless of a win or loss in that scenario? What if they look horrible in a loss? Would they dip below a two loss Iowa?

What would the path be?

This is super interesting, and I appreciate the work you put into thinking this through. I also appreciate that you are not suggesting that any of this will play out, just trying to find a rationale for Iowa having odds available.

Does FanDuel just think Iowa fans are stupid and will take a flyer on this?

Regarding your highly unlikely scenario playing out...I don't think Michigan can get in. That loss to Iowa would be devastating, and we have historical evidence that losing before the conference championship game is better than losing the championship game itself. I think it would go to OSU, who lost a competitive game on the road. Michigan could play the head-to-head card, but then that could get thrown right back at them by Iowa.

I think FSU gets dinged for the QB injury (which I think is crap, but that seems to be how the committee thinks).

What a scenario this would be. It would really put the spotlight on that unconscionable replay reversal in the Iowa/Minnesota game. At the same time, I don't think any of us can argue in good faith that Iowa deserves a spot in the final 4.
 
One of GA and Bama are in. Both could get in if Bama wins by a point on a last second field goal or fluke. One Pac 10 team is in. Maybe both could get in under a fluke outcome that involves Oregon winning. I doubt it, but that would happen long before they got to Iowa. There could theoretically be two Big Ten reps as well, just like last year, but those would be Ohio and Michigan. FSU and Tejas are wildcards, but assuming both crash and burn it would open the door to multiple berths from one of the SEC, Big Ten or Pac 10 long before Iowa's name would be mentioned.
I don't think Alabama or Oregon with two losses get in over Iowa. That's the scenario I've outlined.

So I guess you are saying a one loss Michigan and a one loss Ohio State BOTH get picked over Iowa? I think that is a decent assumption, but that's what I am trying to distill here.
 
Because Penn State is not a feel good story with a trainwreck element mixed in. PSU has a better chance than Iowa at getting in because they destroyed Iowa head to head, but the Iowa bet will get degenerate gamblers and idiots in our fan base literally handing over wads of cash to the bookmaker. No one would bet a huge amount, but if you can coax several thousand people into placing YOLO bets of $20 or $50 or $100 on Iowa it will add up to an amount that makes it worth their time to advertise odds. I mean, the first condition precedent to the bet even paying is Iowa beating Michigan, which in and of itself is far less than a 1% probability occurrence.
So Iowa's fan base has degenerates and idiots but Penn State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ole Miss, etc, fan bases don't? Because none of those two loss schools have odds listed.

I don't find your argument very compelling.
 
A friend pointed out to me that Iowa is one of nine teams listed still with odds to win the national title. So I assume there is some kind of path to the playoffs not involving natural disasters, plane crashes or pandemics.

It's November 29th and we're still talking about a path to the playoffs. Have some fun with that, no matter how narrow the odds.

So what is that path?

Iowa beats Michigan
Washington beats Oregon
Georgia beats Alabama
Texas loses to OK State
Florida State loses to Louisville

In that scenario, is it Iowa, WA, GA....and who? Still a one loss Michigan? You can't take a one loss OSU over a one loss Michigan, can you? Could a two loss Iowa really jump a one loss Ohio State?

Is Florida State in regardless of a win or loss in that scenario? What if they look horrible in a loss? Would they dip below a two loss Iowa?

What would the path be?
There is absolutely no way a 2 loss team (with one of those losses being to PJ Fleck) would ever make a playoff game. In no universe, including all alternate universes, would that happen. Ever. The only reason the odds exist is so they can steal five bucks at a time from people suffering from brain injuries or substance abuse issues.

Iowa could beat Michigan 88-3 and the only thing it would do is keep Michigan out of the playoffs.

Jesus.
 
Top