Mandel’s Mailbag: College Football Playoff scenarios and the fall of Michigan Man

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Given the rapid pace of the Michigan story, there is some hesitation in addressing a Michigan question this week, for fear that it could become outdated when this mailbag is published. Instead, several questions have been answered in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest developments.

Michigan fans might wonder how potential future victories might be perceived in light of the ongoing scandal. However, recent history provides some context. On that note, it’s important to reflect on the 2010 Auburn scandal, which did not hinder their championship season. Thus, the outcome heavily depends on the NCAA’s eventual resolution of the case.

The involvement of Big Ten teams in Michigan’s signaling scandal raises questions about potential repercussions. However, reports indicate that no NCAA rule has been broken. Despite this, the situation could spark a discussion on the legitimacy of sign-stealing methods in college football.

Regarding public opinion and biases, it’s not uncommon for fan bases to defend their team when faced with distressing allegations. The Michigan fan base is no exception. However, these instances often bring out the worst fan behaviors, so we must approach these conversations with consideration for all parties involved.

If teams such as Florida State, Ohio State/Michigan, Washington, and Texas win out, and Alabama beats Georgia in the SEC title game, it’s within the realm of possibility that the SEC could miss the College Football Playoff. The committee appears reluctant to rank an undefeated team behind a one-loss team, which could have significant implications for the playoff scenarios.

In conclusion, while these questions and speculations are thought-provoking, it’s crucial to recognize the unpredictable nature of college football. An understanding of the prevailing dynamics and an openness to various outcomes will be essential as this season unfolds.

To summarize, amidst the ongoing developments and controversies, it’s vital to maintain a balanced perspective and let the ongoing events unfold with due consideration and discernment.

Jayna Bardahl and The Athletic’s college football staff deliver expert analysis on the biggest CFB stories five days per week. Get it sent to your inbox.


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