Each week, Saturday Down South’s playoff predictor will project which four teams would make the College Football Playoff if the season ended now.

The formula takes into account Vegas national championship odds, offensive and defensive efficiency, analytics, strength of schedule, division standings and the major polls.

The team with the lowest score is the most likely to make the four-team Playoff. (You can find a longer explanation of the formula at the bottom of this post.)

Keep in mind, this is not a projection of where things will be at the end of the season. It’s a projection of where things stand if the season ended today.

Under that premise, Alabama vs. Florida State and Mississippi State vs. Georgia would meet in the national semifinals.

TCU, Michigan State, Oregon and Ole Miss are the other teams most likely to push into the playoff, according to our formula.

Week 9 eliminated one more teams from Playoff contention, meaning 109 of the 128 FBS programs have no hope for a national championship.

THE PLAYOFF TEAMS

1. Alabama

Score: 43.5

Last Week: No. 3

The Numbers Say: The Tide’s combined offensive and defensive scoring efficiency is tied for second in the country after a massive climb since the one-point win at Arkansas. Bama also benefits as the Vegas co-favorite to win the national title, but the team is just ninth in the Football Outsiders analytics metric our formula uses and also is penalized for trailing Mississippi State in the SEC West.

Bottom Line: Nick Saban’s team is in much better position after a couple of dominant wins, but the Tide has to beat Mississippi State and Auburn (and avoid a two-way tie with Ole Miss) just to make it out of the SEC West.

Next Up: at LSU (Nov. 8).

2. Mississippi State

Score: 47

Last Week: No. 2

The Numbers Say: The Bulldogs trail Alabama for two reasons: MSU sports the nation’s 28th-best offensive scoring efficiency and the analytics metric slots them all the way down at No. 17. A No. 1 ranking in the human polls, an unbeaten record and first place in the SEC West would help secure this team a playoff spot if the season ended today.

Bottom Line: Now the clear No. 1 in the state, the Bulldogs should have little trouble hanging onto No. 1 in the polls for at least a couple more weeks.

Next Up: vs. Arkansas.

3. Georgia

Score: 57

Last Week: No. 5

The Numbers Say: The human polls still aren’t sold on the Bulldogs, as UGA loses 15 points on Mississippi State in that benchmark alone. Despite improvements in recent weeks, Georgia’s defense ranks 32nd in the country in scoring efficiency, also holding the team back a bit.

Bottom Line: Beat Auburn in a few weeks and this team is almost certain to compete in Atlanta for the SEC championship.

Next Up: vs. Florida (in Jacksonville).

4. Florida State

Score: 64.5

Last Week: No. 4

The Numbers Say: The Seminoles should be glad they’re undefeated. The team’s relatively weak strength of schedule slides them to No. 13 in the Sagarin Ratings, and some early-season mediocrity limits the team’s combined efficiency to 17th in our 20-team playoff pool.

Bottom Line: Survive against the Cardinals and FSU fans can begin to make plans for the inaugural national semifinals.

Next Up: at Louisville (Thursday).

THE PAT HADENS

These teams are the last ones cut by that (crazy?) College Football Playoff Committee. If the season ended today.

5. TCU

Score: 75.5

Last: No. 6

The Numbers Say: An 82-point game slid the Horned Frogs from 20th to 6th in offensive points per possession, and TCU’s pretty stout there on defense as well (No. 13). But both human polls, Vegas and the analytics metric all have TCU slotted near 1oth in the country, and a second-place tie in the Big 12 standings also downgrades them.

Bottom Line: The offense is playing as if the BCS formula still exists. The team can win two more impressive games against West Virginia and Kansas State, but even then may need some help elsewhere.

Next Up: at West Virginia.

6. Michigan State

Score: 76

Last: No. 8

The Numbers Say: Unimpressed with the rest of the Big Ten, Vegas thinks the Spartans have a great chance to win the conference, and by proxy, slots Michigan State with the fourth-best national championship odds. The analytics metric, by contrast, ranks this team 23rd in the country. The AP poll (8th) and Sagarin Ratings (12th) fall in between.

Bottom Line: Beat up Ohio State in a few weeks, win the Big Ten championship game and the Spartans have a terrific shot at making the four-team field.

Next Up: vs. Ohio State (Nov. 8).

7. Oregon

Score: 79

Last: No. 7

The Numbers Say: The Ducks rank first in the analytics metric, first in the Pac-12 North and tie Michigan State for fourth in Vegas. But the team’s 82nd-ranked defensive scoring efficiency is strangling Oregon’s playoff chances right now despite the nation’s No. 2 offense. That and a home loss to Arizona.

Bottom Line: Oregon can’t look past its annual nemesis. Win here and then the Ducks can talk big picture.

Next Up: vs. Stanford.

8. Ole Miss

Score: 81.5

Last: No. 1

The Numbers Say: The Rebels tumbled in the human polls, though not as far as you might expect (to No. 7 in the AP). Vegas still gives Ole Miss a decent shot, and the team ranks No. 3 in the Sagarin Ratings due to a strong schedule, but the nation’s 60th-best defense in terms of points per possession allowed holds back Ole Miss as well as the road loss to LSU.

Bottom Line: All is not lost, Rebels. But now you’ll have to beat Auburn, Mississippi State and Georgia to make the playoff.

Next Up: vs. Auburn.

THE DAN MARINOS

Strong contenders, still alive, but unlikely to actually win anything.

9. Auburn: 90.5
10. Notre Dame: 94
11. Baylor: 97
12. Kansas State: 98.5
13. Ohio State: 100.5

THE BRADY HOKES

Good enough to make a mediocre bowl game. Can you say San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl?

14. Nebraska: 108.5
15. Arizona State: 120

THE VANDY JAMES FRANKLINS

The ceiling is limited, but they’re feisty.

16. Utah: 120
17. Arizona: 143

THE DONALD STERLINGS

Only alive on paper.

Duke
Marshall

ELIMINATED FROM CONTENTION

These teams will not get a College Football Playoff bid.

Count: 109 of 128

Air Force
Akron
Appalachian State
Arkansas
Arkansas State
Army
Ball State
Boise State
Boston College
Bowling Green
Buffalo
BYU
California
Central Michigan
Cincinnati
Clemson
Colorado
Colorado State
Connecticut
East Carolina
Eastern Michigan
Florida
Florida Atlantic
Florida International
Fresno State
Georgia Southern
Georgia State
Georgia Tech
Hawaii
Houston
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Iowa State
Kansas
Kent State
Kentucky
Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Monroe
Louisiana Tech
Louisville
LSU
Maryland
Massachusetts
Memphis
Miami (Fla.)
Miami (Ohio)
Michigan
Middle Tennessee
Minnesota
Missouri
Navy
Nevada
New Mexico
New Mexico State
North Carolina
North Carolina State
Northern Illinois
North Texas
Northwestern
Old Dominion
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Oregon State
Penn State
Pitt
Purdue
Rice
San Diego State
San Jose State
South Alabama
South Carolina
South Florida
Southern Methodist
Southern Miss
Stanford
Syracuse
Temple
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Texas-San Antonio
Texas State
Toledo
Troy
Tulane
Tulsa
UAB
UCF
UCLA
UNLV
USC
UTEP
Utah State
Vanderbilt
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
Washington
Washington State
Western Kentucky
Western Michigan
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming