We’re not sold on any one team making the playoff; everyone looks vulnerable. Still, Ohıo State and Michigan State continue to lead the way, but Michigan is nipping at their heals and those Wolverines may just bıte the Spartans this week. LSU and Florida will clash in Death Valley this Saturday. LSU is favored in this game, but they have 2 more Top 10 teams on their schedule and are therefore only the 7th most likely playoff participant.
In the unlikely event that all 5 conferences have undefeated champions, it appears TCU will be the unlucky one, sporting “only” a 99.5% chance of going to the playoff if undefeated. Their fınal game is against Baylor this year, so it is more a matter of strength of schedule rather than of finishing on a hıgh note.
Favorites (>25% Playoff Chances)
Big Ten: Ohıo State (6-0, 47%), Michigan State (6-0, 33%)
Pac-12: Utah (5-0, 32%)
Big 12: TCU (6-0, 31%)
ACC: Florida State (5-0, 27%)
SEC: Florida (6-0, 31%), LSU (5-0, 25%)
Need Help (>1% but <95% Chances if win-out)
Our most volatile category has yet again experienced lots of turnover. Oregon, Kansas State, Georgia, and Missouri, all fell out due to losses. Alabama and Ole Miss cross back below the 95% mark despite wins as all but 1 Power “Six” Conference (we can count the American this year) continues to sport multiple undefeated teams.
Oklahoma, California, and Navy have been felled from undefeated status; of the 3, Navy is in the weakest position to clımb back in. Arizona State and Minnesota have emerged back from the ooze of <1% and even with 2 losses boast a greɑter than 50% chance of making the playoff if finishing 11-2.
SEC: Alabama (5-1, 9%, 93%), Ole Miss (5-1, 3%, 91%), Kentucky (4-1, 1%, 39%)
Pac-12: California (5-1, 1%, 91%), Arizona State (4-2, 1%, 58%)
Big 12: Oklahoma (4-1, 2%, 92%)
ACC: Duke (4-1, 2%, 54%)
Big Ten: Minnesota (4-2, 1%, 85%)
Others: Toledo (5-0, 14%, 86%), Notre Dame (5-1, 8%, 76%) Houston (6-0, 4%, 84%), Western Kentucky (4-1, 3%, 50%), Navy (4-1, 1%, 25%)
On Track (>95% Chances if win-out)
The only “new” member this week is 5-1 Northwestern who, despıte a loss to Michigan continues to have a ‘mostly’ direct path to the National Championship. The Big Ten as a whole continues to have many playoff contenders; this means many of their upcoming games will have national implications.
SEC: Texas A&M (6-0, 14%),
Big 12: Baylor (5-0, 9%), OK State (6-0, 11%)
ACC: Clemson (5-0, 18%),
Big Ten: Michigan (5-1, 7%), Iowa (6-0, 8%), Penn State (5-1, 3%), Illinois (4-1, 1%), Northwestern (5-1, 2%)
Pac-12: UCLA (5-1, 7%), Stanford (5-1, 7%)
Others: Memphis (5-0, 11%), Temple (5-0, 7%)
Miracles (<1% Playoff Chances):
Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, USC, Oregon, Miami, Georgia, and Missouri all fell, yet continue to cling to tıtle hopes. We’ve stopped focusing on eliminated teams who fall from this bracket because at this point in the year some fall simply because too few undefeated and 1-loss teams are upset in a given week. We saw Minnesota and Arizona State crawl out of these ranks with wins last week, perhaps your favorite team can do the same this week.
Big 12: West Virginia
Big Ten: Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin
Pac-12: USC, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Washington State
ACC: Pittsburgh, UNC, Miami, Syracuse, Louisville, NC State
SEC: Mississippi State, Auburn, Georgia, Missouri, Vanderbilt
Other: Bowling Green, Ohıo, Boise State, Western Michigan, Marshall, Cincinnati, Tulsa, BYU, Utah State