Just one more week until the College Football Playoff is set!
As is college football tradion, a crazy rivalry week only meant that more chaos has descended upon the rankings, and that many teams truly have a shot at getting in.
So with that in mind, who would we have in? Let’s take a look.
FanBuzz projected Playoff Top 4
1. Clemson — ACC, 11-1
LW: 4 — Result: W, 34-10 at South Carolina
Yep, I know they lost to Syracuse earlier in the year. But at this point, Clemson has the most quality wins of any team near the top. Not only did Clemson beat Auburn at Auburn, but they also have two-score (or more) wins over Virginia Tech, Louisville, and now South Carolina, and then three more wins over teams with winning records.
If you want to overcome a bad loss, that’s how you do it; beat quality opponents in convincing fashion, regardless of if it is home or away.
T-1. Oklahoma — Big 12, 11-1
LW: 2 — Result: W, 59-31 vs. West Virginia
Yes, I’m tying Oklahoma for No. 1 with Clemson. To me, both teams have that resume of beating quality teams by a convincing margin any time, any place. Oklahoma has a chance to add on to that by beating TCU in the Big 12 title game on this upcoming Saturday.
3. Auburn — SEC, 10-2
LW: 6 — Result: W, 26-14 vs. Alabama
I remember thinking over the past several years how difficult it would be for a 2-loss team to get into the College Football Playoff, but Auburn has now provided the blueprint. Both of their losses are by one-score to ranked teams, and they have beaten two other teams ranked in the Top 10. Like the teams ahead of them, Auburn is in if they win their championship game.
4. Wisconsin — Big Ten, 12-0
LW: 5 — Result: W, 31-0 vs. Minnesota
People are killing Wisconsin’s record, but they have done enough in recent weeks to convince me that they are for real. They destroyed Iowa, they beat Michigan convincingly, and they capped off the regular season with a big shutout win over Minnesota.
After a “meh” start to the season, I’m impressed.
Next in line Playoff contenders
5. Georgia — SEC, 11-1
LW: 7 — Result: W, 38-7 at Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets were competitive with Georgia for about 35 minutes before the Bulldogs simply smothered them with their rushing attack. That’s been a Georgia special this season, and it has usually been really effective.
Road to the Playoff for Georgia is easy: Win and they are in.
6. Alabama — SEC, 11-1
LW: 1 — Result: L, 14-26 at Auburn
Well… this is where it gets interesting.
Unlike the teams ahead of them, there is no “win and get in” scenario for Alabama; they don’t have any games left.
That said, the committee showed last year that they are willing to put in a 1-win non-conference champion over a 2-loss team that did win their conference championship game. That should scare the hell out of Ohio State and even USC as they try to get in with wins in their conference title games next weekend.
7. TCU — Big 12, 10-2
LW: 8 — Result: 45-22 vs. Baylor
Call me crazy, but TCU should potentially be in if they get a win against Oklahoma. They’ve got some quality wins on their schedule, and a potential win over Oklahoma in a neutral site might be enough to outweigh their 38-20 loss at Oklahoma earlier in the season.
8. Central Florida — AAC, 11-0
LW: 9 — Result: W, 49-42 vs. South Florida
Yeah, UCF baby!
They’ve passed every test they have been given so far this season, and they have a chance to boost their resume further with another win over a Memphis team that is currently 10-1.
I don’t know if UCF should be in the Playoff if they win that game, but damn, they deserve some consideration at this point. Wasn’t the whole point of going to a four-team Playoff to help give these guys a chance?
I know, I know: “What happens if they then get killed in the Playoff?” I don’t know, try again next year? A lot of people seem to be overlooking the Big Ten being shutout in consecutive Playoffs without much of an issue…
9. Ohio State — Big Ten, 10-2
LW: 10 — Result: W, 31-20 at Michigan
Yes, Ohio State is all the way down here. If they kill Wisconsin, I will happily reconsider my position, but until then, I’m still eyeing that beatdown in Kinnick. There are some loses you can lookover, but that’s not a loss that should ever happen to a top team.
Also, you know, there’s that whole thing where they already lost to Oklahoma at home. We shouldn’t just forget about these losses because they happened a while ago.
10. Miami — ACC, 10-1
LW: 3 — Result: L, 14-24 at Pitt
The committee may have different ideas in putting Miami in if they beat Clemson next week, but I’m not sold on the Hurricanes.
There’s no way out of this conundrum: Miami has played BADLY away from home, and they were just dominated by a Pitt team that was previously 4-7 on the year. Miami also isn’t helped by their best wins so far this season — VT and Notre Dame — both losing another game after they lost to Miami.
For me, that Pitt loss is much like Ohio State’s loss to Iowa. Sure, any team on any given day can pull off the upset, but truly great teams don’t get dominated like that by mediocre — or worse — squads.
Best of the rest
11. USC — Pac-12, 10-2
LW: 12 — Result: BYE
12. Penn State — Big Ten, 10-2
LW: 13 — Result: W, 66-3 at Maryland
14. Washington — Pac-12, 10-2
LW: 16 — Result: W, 41-14 vs. Washington State
14. Memphis — AAC, 10-1
LW: 15 — Result: 70-13 vs. East Carolina
15. Oklahoma State — Big 12, 9-3
LW: 17 — Result: W, 58-17 vs. Kansas
16. Stanford — Pac-12, 9-3
LW: 19 — Result: W, 38-20 vs. Notre Dame
17. LSU — SEC, 9-3
LW: 18 — Result: W, 45-21 vs. Texas A&M
18. Washington State — Pac-12, 9-3
LW: 14 — Result: L, 14-41 at Washington
19. Notre Dame — ACC adjacent, 9-3
LW: 11 — Result: L, 20-38 at Stanford
20. Michigan State — Big Ten, 9-3
LW: 22 — Result: W, 40-7 at Rutgers
21. Northwestern — Big Ten, 9-3
LW: 23 — Result: W, 42-7 at Illinois
22. South Florida — AAC, 9-2
LW: 20 — Result: L, 42-49 at Central Florida
23. Virginia Tech — ACC, 9-3
LW: NR — Result: W, 10-0 vs. Virginia
24. Louisville — ACC, 8-4
LW: NR — Result: W, 44-17 vs. Kentucky
25. Michigan — Big Ten, 8-4
LW: 23 — Result: L, 20-31 vs. Ohio State