Projecting the four CFB Playoff teams after Week 10
The CFB Playoff committee will release its newest rankings on Tuesday. Right now, it appears that Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama are in good shape. LSU still is in contention for a playoff berth, but has a tough remainder of the month.
Here’s a current projection of the College Football Playoff with the remaining schedules for the contenders:
THE TOP CONTENDERS
1. Clemson — Clemson is the firm No. 1 team in the land. While the Tigers didn’t run away from No. 19 Florida State on Saturday, they picked up their second win over a ranked opponent (The first came against No. 6 Notre Dame on Oct. 3). Clemson closes against Syracuse, Wake Forest and South Carolina.
2. Ohio State — With LSU losing, Ohio State will probably move into the No. 2 spot. The next three weeks will be telling for the Buckeyes, who finish the season against No. 14 Michigan State and No. 15 Michigan. They may be able to survive a loss to one of these squads, not both.
3. Alabama — The Crimson Tide made a statement by whipping unbeaten LSU and should move up to No. 3 in the playoff rankings. Most of Alabama’s toughest challenges are in the rear-view mirror, though the Tide plays at No. 20 Mississippi State this Saturday and finishes with the Iron Bowl against Auburn after a tune-up game with Charleston Southern.
4. Notre Dame — The committee is high on Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish own the wins over two once-beaten teams No. 21 Temple and No. 22 Navy and suffered its only loss in driving rain at Clemson. Notre Dame also picked up a solid win over Pitt, which was ranked at the time. Victories over Southern Cal and at No. 7 Stanford on November 28 would make the Irish hard to leave out.
ON THE CUSP
LSU — While the Tigers dropped in the major polls, they remain a contender. LSU still only has one loss, and a chance to pick up solid wins with Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M on the remaining schedule.
Baylor — The unbeaten Bears are still No.4 in the AP Poll, but the committee ranked them No. 6 last week due to their easy schedule prior to November. But if they run the table against No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 13 TCU, they should make the playoffs.
Oklahoma State — The unbeaten Cowboys made a statement on Saturday with a commanding 49-29 win over TCU. Like Baylor, Oklahoma State will make the playoff if it finished unbeaten. The Cowboys have the advantage of playing TCU and Oklahoma in Stillwater.
Oklahoma — Oklahoma is the third Big 12 team with a shot. The Sooners, who have one loss, need to beat Baylor on Saturday and run the table to have a chance.
Stanford — The No. 7 Cardinal is a favorite of many pundits and probably the toughest potential one-loss competition for Alabama and LSU. The week 1 loss against No. 24 Northwestern still haunts Stanford. Best case scenario for the Cardinal would be a showdown with Notre Dame with the winner getting a playoff spot.
Iowa — The Hawkeyes remain undefeated, but their most impressive victories came against Wisconsin and Northwestern. Wins against Minnesota, Purdue and Nebraska would put them in position to make the playoff with a victory in the Big Ten championship game.
Florida — The Gators didn’t look playoff caliber in their 9-7 victory over Vanderbilt. With victories over Florida State and either Alabama or LSU in the SEC title game, the Gators would have a good shot.
Utah — The loss to Southern Cal was a big blow. Utah’s only chance is to run the table, including an impressive victory over Stanford in the Pac-12 title game. The Utes would still need losses by some other contenders.