Another week of the College Football Playoff rankings have come and gone and now it’s time to break things down. Looking at the top eight of the rankings, we can see some patterns with how the committe views these teams. Head-to-head, type of loss, and conference strength come into play. With only a week left in the season, each game becomes magnified and these teams only have a short time left to make their case.
8. Clemson Tigers (10-1, next game vs. South Carolina)
It’s telling how the committee feels about Clemson. They sit at 10-1 but are behind both two-loss LSU and Alabama. The weakness of the ACC clearly has come into play here for the Tigers. They can still make it but it’s a longshot and would need multiple teams to drop games. Clemson still need to go win the ACC as well for any shot of a chance.
7. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-2, next game vs Auburn)
Alabama isn’t dead yet. Somehow this team is still alive for a Playoff spot. Choas would need to ensue but it can happen. They need Notre Dame to beat USC and A&M to beat LSU, and things get interesting for the Crimson Tide. They just need to take care of business against Auburn and let the rest unfold.
6. USC Trojans (10-1, next game vs #15 Notre Dame)
USC is sitting pretty right now. If they can take down Notre Dame and then win the Pac-12, they will have a great shot. USC has an explosive offense which gives them some style points with the committee. It will be hard to deny the Trojans if they win out but crazier things have happened.
5. LSU Tigers (9-2, next game @ Texas A&M)
The Tigers face one final game before they will take on Georgia in the SEC title game. If they can take down Texas A&M, then their path to the playoff is simple. Beat Georgia. It’s easier said than done and this LSU team shouldn’t overlook the Aggies. They can play spolier so the Tigers need to come in focused and ready to go. While a two-loss team has never made the playoff, it could happen this season if LSU were to win out and win the SEC.
4. TCU Horned Frogs (11-0, next game vs Iowa State)
TCU is undefeated and deserves to be where they are right now. However, they need to play much better if they want to be deserving of a Playoff spot. The committee does look at style points and TCU is very low in that category right now. They play Iowa State before the Big-12 title game. Win out and they have a good shot to make the field but it’s not a guarantee.
3. Michigan Wolverines (11-0, next game @ #2 Ohio State)
Much like the Buckeyes, Michigan just needs to win out. They almost stumbled last week against Illinois but found a way to win. If they can take down Ohio State, it would do wonders for this program in more ways than one. Michigan would solidify themselves as true contenders. Win out and they are in.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0, next game vs #3 Michigan)
It’s time for Ohio State to get revenge on the Wolverines for what happened last season in Ann Arbor. Now “The Game” shifts to Columbus and it’s going to be a wild crowd. The players will be ready to go and a spot in the Big-10 title game is on the line. Whoever wins this game has the inside track to a potential Playoff spot, it is that simple.
1. Georgia Bulldogs (11-0, next game vs Georgia Tech)
Unless the Bulldogs drop a game before the SEC championship game, they are in the Playoff. The Bulldogs are almost a lock to make the field of four no matter the outcomes the rest of the way.