Notre Dame is ‘in’ after an impressive performance against Georgia Tech knocked the Yellow Jackets out of contention. Ole Miss similarly took Alabama’s place after knocking off the Crimson Tide. Also rising are Clemson, whose game against Georgia Tech no long looks as daunting, Georgia, who similarly has ‘Bama on their schedule, and Oklahoma, rounding out the fifth Power Five conference with 2 teams.
Michigan State and Ohio State are the two teams most likely to make the playoff. Much of this is because the only loss guaranteed on their schedule is when they play each other in Late November. Could it be that the “loser” of this game comes out ahead in that they would then not have to play in the Big Ten Championship. This is Exhibit A for why we need a Wild Card Game, so that the loser too has another hurdle to overcome.
Compared to last week, the ranks of Favorites have swelled from 10 to 12. In contrast, only 5 of last weeks 13 Contenders maintained that distinction. Next week we may have to combine our Contenders and Long Shots categories.
Favorites (>10% and >95% if win out):
Big Ten: Ohio State (3-0, 50%), Michigan State (3-0, 36%)
ACC: Florida State (3-0, 30%), Clemson (3-0, 11%)
Pac-12: UCLA (3-0, 25%), Utah (3-0, 14%)
SEC: LSU (2-0, 24%), Ole Miss (3-0, 15%), Georgia (3-0, 11%)
Big 12: TCU (3-0, 19%), Oklahoma (3-0, 11%)
Other: Notre Dame (3-0, 19%)
Need Help (<95% if win out):
After a week’s hiatus, this status is back. It is hard to believe that an 11-1 Alabama only has a 90% chance of making the playoffs, but the SEC may be sending their champion in with 0 or 1 losses. 2 SEC teams makes for a crowded field. Toledo has a different problem. Their victory over Arkansas looks good only if the Razorbacks stop losing; it is not unheard of for a 12-0 mid-major to be left out of college football’s big dance.
Toledo (2-0, 9%, 93%)
Alabama (2-1, 6%, 90%)
Contenders (5% to 9%):
Florida, Texas A&M, and Kansas State all rise to the Contender category this week, mostly by surviving to 3-0.
Pac-12 Arizona (3-0)
SEC: Missouri (3-0), Florida (3-0), Texas A&M (3-0)
Big 12; Baylor (2-0), Kansas State (3-0)
Big Ten: Wisconsin (2-1),
Other: Memphis (3-0)
Long Shots (1% to 4%):
Many teams are beginning to pool in this category. I’ve even included undefeated Syracuse and Indiana for the sake of lassoing every unbeaten. Texas Tech, Miami, Northwestern, Iowa, and California climb in under similar circumstances, all defeating Power Five foes. Georgia Tech, Western Kentucky, and USC each fall pretty far after losing their first game. BYU never ascended to Favorite Status, but their loss to Favorite UCLA drops them into the Long Shot category. Stanford re-emerges from Miracle territory on the back of their victory over USC; let’s see how far the miracle takes them.
SEC: Mississippi State (2-1)
Big 12: West Virginia (2-0), OK State (3-0), Texas Tech (3-0)
ACC: NC State (3-0), Georgia Tech (2-1), Miami (3-0), Syracuse (3-0, <1%)
Big Ten: Minnesota (2-1), Northwestern (3-0), Iowa (3-0), Indiana (3-0, <1%)
Pac-12: Oregon (2-1), Stanford (2-1), USC (2-1), Arizona State (2-1), California (3-0)
Others: Northern Illinois (2-1), Navy (2-0), Temple (3-0), Houston (2-0), Marshall (2-1), Ohio (3-0), Western Michigan (2-1), BYU (2-1), Western Kentucky (2-1)
Boise State slips following a win over FCS’s Idaho State. Auburn follows their bumbling against Jacksonville State with a loss to LSU. Kentucky and Duke are both downed in losses on top of their long odds. Air Force never took off against Michigan State and the whole Mountain West conference has taken a step back. Nebraska and Bowling Green make it all the way to 2 losses, before dipping into Miracle territory.
Auburn (2-1), Kentucky (2-1), Duke, (2-1), Nebraska (1-2), Air Force (2-1), Boise State (2-1), Bowling Green (1-2), and any others not listed.
17 more teams eliminated. The bodies are piling up. Central Florida, Texas-San Antonio, Florida Atlantic, and Louisville all made it to their third loss before kicking the bucket. Louisville is also our third Power Five team to be eliminated. Tune in next week.
Louisville, Central Florida, Tulane, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Nevada, Texas-El Paso, North Texas, Texas-San Antonio, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Central Michigan, Massachusetts, Miami (OH), Eastern Michigan, Southern Alabama, Wyoming, UNLV, San Jose St, UTEP, Akron, Idaho, Arkansas St, La Lafayette, La Monroe, Texas State, Georgia Southern, Kansas, Colorado, Washington State, Army, Kent State, Troy, New Mexico State, Georgia State