For the first time in 31 years -- 31! -- the No. 2, 3 and 4 teams all lost on the same day this past Saturday. Add in that No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 9 Auburn lost, and the playoff picture looks drastically different after Week 11 than it did a week ago.
The Big Ten appears to be the big winner from last week's chaos. Even with Michigan losing, the league still has eight different playoff scenarios in play.
Let's rank them, from the least to most likely.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Michigan and Ohio State both get in
It's a dream scenario for fans, TV execs and sportswriters like me. Can you imagine Ohio State and Michigan both getting into the playoff?
While the mere thought is turning me into a heart-eyed emoji, it's the most unrealistic.
Michigan would have to win out, including the Big Ten title game. Then, Ohio State would need sheer carnage around them -- likely a two-loss Pac-12 champ and a two-loss Big 12 champ. At that point, would Ohio State's non-conference win over Oklahoma give them a trump card over, say, a two-loss Washington for the final spot?
It's unlikely. But we can dream for at least a second, right?
Michigan and Penn State both get in
It's the same scenario as above: Michigan wins the Big Ten and there's carnage. But instead of putting in Ohio State as an at-large, the committee chooses Penn State and its head-to-head win over the Buckeyes.
Again, it's a long shot. But to quote the movie Angels in the Outfield, "It could happen!"
Only Ohio State gets in
Could only Ohio State, as an at-large team, represent the Big Ten? It seems unlikely, but there is a scenario.
If the Buckeyes beat Michigan, that would knock the Wolverines out of the picture altogether and send Penn State (if they win out) to the Big Ten title game.
If the Nittany Lions then lost to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, would the committee take a one-loss Ohio State, which also beat Wisconsin head-to-head, over a two-loss conference champ? It doesn't seem likely, but it is plausible.
Getty ImagesJennifer Stewart
Wisconsin and Ohio State get in
Wisconsin wins out and wins the Big Ten title over Penn State.
But in the same "all hell breaks loose" scenario mentioned above (a two-loss Pac-12 champ being a virtual necessity), both Wisconsin and Ohio State, with an at-large bid, get in.
It'd take a little chaos across college football, but it could very well happen.
USA TODAY SportsJeff Hanisch
Only Wisconsin gets in
Similar to the scenario above: Wisconsin has to win the Big Ten, whether it's against Penn State or Michigan (or in the wildest scenario, Ohio State), and then there has to be enough quality champions to limit the Big Ten to only one bid. In that case, Wisconsin is your representative.
If you're a Wisconsin fan, the best-case scenario here would be to play Michigan in the title game. If the Big Ten ends up as only a one-bid league, what better case could the Badgers make than by beating an 11-1 Wolverines club (and Big Ten East champ) on a neutral field the last night of the season?
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Both Penn State and Ohio State get in
Had you poked around Twitter immediately following the carnage Saturday night, this seemed like the Big Ten scenario most everyone was talking about.
It's also probably the most straightforward: Penn State wins its final two games, and Ohio State beats Michigan, making the Nittany Lions the Big Ten East champs. They then beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
Then Ohio State, as a one-loss non-champion, gets in as an at-large team with a loaded resume that includes wins over Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan.
Definitely plausible, right?
Only Penn State gets in
This is definitely plausible, too. Michigan loses to Ohio State, Penn State wins out and wins the Big Ten, and the committee takes champions from the ACC and Pac-12 over the one-loss Buckeyes.
Now Ohio State fans could grumble that they should get a spot over Penn State here, but let's be realistic for a second. Do you really think the committee is giving the Buckeyes a bid as a one-loss non-league champ when Penn State is both the league champ and has a head-to-head win over Ohio State?
Doesn't seem very likely to me.
Only Michigan gets in
You know what's funny: For all the insanity that unfolded over the weekend, Michigan getting in as the Big Ten's only representative is still the most likely playoff scenario for the conference.
For Michigan, the road ahead is clear: Win out (which would include a victory over Ohio State and a Big Ten title game win) and you're in.
That would leave every other Big Ten option as a two-loss non-champion and thus probably out of the playoff.