College Football Playoff projections: No surprises


College Football Playoff projections: No surprises

College football is a sport in which the unexpected routinely happens. That was not the case on Saturday as the favorites won out, leaving little doubt as to who will be playing in this year's College Football Playoff. The only question left is just where each team will finish in the rankings.

Here's a look at the four projected playoff teams:

1. Clemson (13-0), ACC Champions

The first playoff rankings of the season came out in Week 10 and the Tigers have been No. 1 each and every week. After a 45-37 win over North Carolina in the ACC Championship game to cap off an undefeated season, there's no reason to think Clemson will be moving anywhere now.

2. Alabama (12-1), SEC Champions

It was perhaps closer than some expected, but Alabama was able to power through Florida on their way to an SEC Championship. The one loss will likely keep them out of the top spot in the rankings, but there's no question they will be playoff bound.

RELATED: Fuente-Mendenhall rivalry renewed

3. Oklahoma (11-1), Big 12 Champions

The Sooners got to relax during Championship Week as they wrapped up their season the week before. Still, no one in Norman should be watching anxiously from home wondering if the committee will once again snub the Big 12. Oklahoma punched their tickets to the playoff with their win over Oklahoma State.

4. Michigan State (12-1), Big Ten Champions

Michigan State narrowly defeated Iowa in a thrilling finish on Saturday night to win the conference. The Big Ten Championship game between the Spartans and undefeated Iowa was viewed as a play-in game heading into Saturday.

The selection committee shocked the nation by jumping Ohio State over TCU and Baylor in the final rankings last year, showing you never know exactly what they are going to do. This year, however, it's hard to imagine there will be any surprises.

All four teams listed above are conference champions from Power Five conferences. One team is undefeated and the other three have only one loss. The one remaining conference champion is Stanford which has two losses.

According to the committee's guidelines, a non-conference champion will only be considered for the playoff if it is "unequivocally one of the four best teams in the country." That's not an argument you can make for Ohio State or Iowa, teams that both lost to Michigan State which will likely be ranked the lowest among the four playoff teams.

This leaves ups with projected matchups of Clemson vs. Michigan State and Alabama vs. Oklahoma. There may not be much drama in Sunday's selections, but those playoff matchups will offer plenty of it came New Year's Eve.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Durkin receives standing ovation at Maryland basketball game vs. SFU

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

USA Today Sports Images

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

They said it could not be done, no No. 16 seed would ever beat a No. 1 seed. The odds would be too great and the obstacle too steep.

As we all know, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), just proved that all wrong.


All season the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers dominated their opponents. They dictated pace, held opponents to less than 55 points, and smothered teams by forcing turnovers.

The roles filled on Friday evening and with an up-tempo 74-54 victory, UMBC proved the impossible.

The hardwood is not the only place that UMBC owned last night, they grabbed headlines, attention, and thousands of fans (literally) on Twitter.

Someone grabbed a hold of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account and took the upset by storm.

It all started when Seth Davis poked the bear:

and they were relentless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Seth Davis:

Then they started get snarky and owning everyone:

As someone the graduated from a commuter school, I can relate:

More Seth Davis:

Back to Twitter:

I guess that application wave actually was a thing or people wanted to know what ‘UMBC’ stood for:

Game. Set. History.

Now here come the shots against other schools:

Yeah, don’t jump on this bandwagon Terps fans. Stay in College Park:

I did not take long for other social media icons to start reaching out:

Oh and Seth Davis eventually did apologize:

Started the night at 5,588 and jumped up to 51.7 K. No one cares what you think Steven:

If you liked what you saw thank Zach Seidel, not an intern, not a student athlete who provided those tweets last night.

Zach, you just earned yourself a raise and we’ll see you in the Second Round.

NCAA Tournament 2018: UMBC vs. Kansas State Second Round, time, TV channel, how to watch

USA Today Sports Images

NCAA Tournament 2018: UMBC vs. Kansas State Second Round, time, TV channel, how to watch

After shocking the world and doing what no other team has done before, the UMBC Retrievers are not done yet.

Yes, UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed. And against a Virginia team that was the only dominant squad in all of college basketball, no one expected it (except Troy Machir).

Remember the Retrievers barely made it to the NCAA tournament with a buzzer-beater from Jairus Lyles.  

Lyles scored a game-high 28 points in their historic upset as the team went 50 percent from behind the arc with 12 three-pointers.

Up next they play No. 9 Kansas State who looked shaky in their First Round win over Creighton. Can the Cinderella run for the Retrievers continue? Either way anything they do would be a first for a No. 16 seed going forward.

Virginia and UNC UMBC will match up on Sunday in Charlotte, NC. 

Here is the NCAA Tournament information:


UMBC vs. Kansas State How to Watch

What: 2018 NCAA Tournament Second Round, South Region

Who: No. 16 UMBC (25-10, 12-4 America East) vs. No. 9 Kansas State (23-11, 10-8 Big 12)

When: 7:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 18.

Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

TV Channel: TruTV

Online Stream:  March Madness Live on

TV Announcers: TBA Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Grant Hill (analyst), Bill Raftery (analyst), Tracy Wolfson (reporter)

Twitter: @UVAMensHoops, @KStateMBB


UMBC vs. Kansas State Bracket Analysis

How They Got Here: UMBC (Auto-bid, America East Champions), Kansas State (at-large)

Previous Meeting: First Meeting

Next Round: Winner of No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Buffalo

South Region Bracket:

No. 16 UMBC vs. No. 9 Kansas State
No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Buffalo

No. 11 Loyola Chicago vs. No. 3 Tennessee
No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 2 Cincinnati

UMBC vs. Kansas State Betting Spread, Lines & Odds

Favorites: N/A
Over/Under: N/A
Money Line: N/A
Against The Spread: UMBC is 4-1 ATS this season, Kansas State is 15-16 ATS.

Enter the NBC Sports Washington Bracket Challenge presented by ChasenBoscolo and compete against Tony Massenburg and Walt Williams for a chance to win big.